Another teen harmed by vaping laws. Two flavor bans defeated. FDA has new director. Study finds vaping as safe as patch for pregnant women. Calls to Action for national menthol ban and Hawaii flavor ban. American Heart Association downplays pro-vaping finding and more!
Scroll to the bottom of this post for a link to the audio/video versions of this post!
CALL TO ACTION // National
Starting on May 4, 2022, the FDA is accepting comments on two proposed rules banning the use of flavors other than tobacco in combustible tobacco products.
Whether you’re supporting the rule or opposed, one thing we can all agree on is that people who smoke need safer alternatives to cigarettes — mentholated or not!
While the FDA is moving ahead with banning more tobacco products, it is failing to authorize a meaningful variety of e-liquids and devices that are responsible for recent accelerated declines in smoking.
In addition to sharing your views on banning menthol cigarettes and other flavored combustible products, take this opportunity to urge FDA to ensure that people have access to safer forms of nicotine delivery that are enjoyable and affordable–like vaping, nicotine pouches, and smokeless tobacco products.
TAKE ACTION: FDA Menthol Ban – Submit Your Comments
CALL TO ACTION UPDATE // Hawaii
HB 1570 has passed the final hurdle on its way to the governor’s desk. The bill has been amended to include an exemption for flavored products that receive a marketing order from the FDA.
CASAA encourages our members in Hawaii to urge Governor Ige to Veto this bill! Take Action and send your message TODAY!
Governor Ige has until June 27 to make a decision on this bill.
TAKE ACTION: Hawaii – Stop a Flavor Ban!
REGULATION // Colorado and Connecticut Updates
As reported by CASAA director Jim McDonald for Vaping 360: Hard work by vaping advocates helped kill flavor ban bills backed by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids in two state legislatures. In a year thought to be ripe for state-level flavor bans, so far only Hawaii’s legislature has passed a bill prohibiting vape flavors in 2022. (Note: Hawai’i’s bill hasn’t yet been signed by the governor as of this blog post. See CASAA’s Call to Action above.)
It's such a pleasure to read this piece by @whycherrywhy
“Legislators heard strong evidence that flavor bans don’t work from University of Ottawa adjunct law professor David Sweanor, Drug Policy Alliance founder Ethan Nadelmann, and Dr. Michael Cummings- https://t.co/SlMjQpcjdI
— Phillip Kirschberg (@RushmoreExt23) May 11, 2022
REGULATION // San Diego Passes Flavor Ban
San Diego City Council officially passed an ordinance Tuesday to ban the sale of flavored (incl. menthol) tobacco products, effective Jan. 1, 2023. Of course, the supporters were most happy about banning the low risk vapor products, not the cigarettes.
Land of the free… unless you like bubble gum vape juice lol
— Eugene Geroche (@GerocheEugene) May 18, 2022
IN THE NEWS // Mini Documentary Exposes the Truth About Vaping
What Vaping Did: A mini documentary about the war on vaping by Natalie Dowzicky for Reason Magazine.
“By banning options that smokers overwhelmingly prefer, and leaving the traditional cigarette untouched, the FDA is repeating the mistakes of the drug war.”
RESEARCH // Vaping and Pregnancy
Researchers at Queen Mary University in London say nicotine vaping “poses no greater risk to the mother or baby than nicotine patches, which are both better options than continuing to smoke throughout pregnancy.”
— Centre for Public Health & Policy (CPHP) (@CphpQmul) May 19, 2022
RESEARCH // Study Findings Being Downplayed/Misreported
Researchers make a very bold claim based on scant evidence.
Red Flag #1: “Dual Use” included anyone who smoked and reported ANY e-cig use (even once) during data collection.
Red Flag #2: The data period of 2013-19 is unlikely enough time to significantly reduce risks after decades of smoking. Even if someone completely switches to vaping, their health risks aren’t going to immediately go away anymore than they would have had they quit cold turkey.
Red Flag #3: The press release from researchers – and therefore reporting on the study – focused on the lack of risk reduction for those who continued to smoke. This was not a surprising result. However, they also downplayed or completely ignored the fact that the study found SIGNIFICANT reduction in risks for people who switched completely from smoking to vaping.
UPDATE: @American_Heart ignored the "exclusive vaping" heart benefits the study found to push harms from dual use.
Why wouldn't it support exclusive vaping?
Headline: "No health benefits among adults who used both e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes"https://t.co/MGqrRSDPI7
— Freedom of Choice (@LanceChurchill) May 6, 2022
Say you didn’t understand the press release without saying you didn’t understand the press release.
When reporting the above-mentioned study, WINK News put out a completely inaccurate headline for their article stating “Study finds cigarette smokers who switch to vaping don’t see decreased health risks.” This is false. People who switched completely found significant health benefits. It was people who continued smoking while vaping who didn’t see a decrease in risks.
How about reading the study before writing about it?
"Compared with smoking, e-cigarette use was associated with 30% to 40% lower CVD risk, although this association was only significant for the any CVD outcome."
— Jukka Kelovuori (@jkelovuori) May 9, 2022
TOBACCO CONTROL // Understanding the Enemy
“The most profound reason is that tobacco control activists really need an enemy. They frame their work in war-like language, and the leaders had their formative experiences in the tobacco wars of the last century….Fighting wars is what they do, even if this is increasingly at the expense of public health.” ~Clive Bates
READ MORE: Fighting The Wrong War
TOBACCO CONTROL // Bad Laws Are Creating Teen Criminals
Tased by police, strip searched in school, blacklisted from schools & now BEATEN for vaping nicotine. These are relatively low risk products compared to other teen behaviors. Why are we terrorizing, stigmatizing & physically assaulting children for this?? CASAA’s Jim McDonald reports for Vaping360.
This is the kind of police state you want. Quit pretending you care about kids.https://t.co/0RBHCTXwAf
— Marshall Keith (@MarshallKeith2) May 20, 2022
FDA // New Center for Tobacco Products Director Named
FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf has named Dr. Brian King as successor to recently retired director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), Mitch Zeller. Whether or not this is good or bad for tobacco harm reduction advocates remains to be seen, but the outlook among advocates is grim.
“Many observers have pointed to King’s botching, in his CDC role, of the lung illnesses—misleadingly dubbed “e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury,” or EVALI—that cropped up in the summer of 2019. https://t.co/RErU7SfQpR
— Phillip Kirschberg (@RushmoreExt23) May 20, 2022
TESTIMONIAL // Anecdote #13,456
Jaime smoked for 10 years and flavors helped her finally quit. Studies show that non-tobacco flavors appeal to adults. Avoiding tobacco flavor also decreases risk of relapse. What’s YOUR real story? Submit your testimonial today!
ADD YOUR STORY: CASAA Testimonial Project
CASAA IN ACTION // Twitter Spaces
What is bodily autonomy? It is just about abortion? Drugs? Vaping? All of the above? Join the CASAA board on the latest CASAA Spaces for a spirited discussion to find out!
CASAA IN ACTION // CASAA Live
If you missed the most recent CASAA Live show, check out the replay now! CASAA Live is on most Saturdays at 4:30 PM ET/3:30 PM CT/2:30 PM MT/1:30 PM PT on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter!
Recently, we spoke with Clive Bates, a tobacco harm reduction advocate and former director of ASH UK, who brought us his expert “insider” perspectives on tobacco control, and we discussed the madness of menthol bans with journalist, director of consumer freedom at Reason Foundation (and vaper) Guy Bentley!
TAKE ACTION // CASAA State Facebook Groups
Have you joined your CASAA State Facebook group yet? Check it out now! Click the link below, click on your state on the map, then click the “Join Now” button to go to your state’s group page. It’s as easy as that to stay updated on local happenings, meet local advocates and never miss a Call to Action in your state!
Don’t forget to also follow our official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CASAAmedia
FIND YOUR GROUP: CASAA State Locator
CASAA STORE // Apparel and More
Show your support by shopping our store! Our president (and brilliant website/swag designer) Danielle has added some awesome new designs to CASAA’s apparel shop, plus there is a Memorial Day sale starting May 23rd!
VISIT: CASAA Apparel and Swag Store
CASAA MEDIA // Podcast
Catch up on past tobacco harm reduction news with Alex and Logan on the CASAA podcasts on SoundCloud every Monday and now live on YouTube and Facebook every Saturday at 3:30 PM.