State call to action
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Kansas – [Concluded] Stop a Flavor Ban! (No on HB 2061)
HB 2061 would ban flavors, prohibit vaping where smoking is banned, and raise the age to purchase all tobacco and nicotine products from 18 to 21. The bill would also require retailers to post a notice about the minimum legal sales age that refers to e-liquid as “consumable material.”
The Kansas legislature is anticipating a shortened session this year due to COVID-19. As a consequence, bills may move through a normally slow and deliberative process at a break-neck speed. In other words, even though HB 2061 isn’t scheduled for a hearing today, we could see this come up at any time and with little notice. This bill is assigned to the Committee on Federal and State Affairs.
Now is the time for Kansas advocates to make contact with lawmakers and urge them to oppose HB 2061 and any other legislation that would take away access to safer alternatives to smoking.
- Urge your lawmakers to reject SB 2061, which would restrict your ability to use low-risk alternatives to smoking.
- Briefly, share your story about switching to vaping and what role that flavors play in helping you live smoke free.
- Note any health changes you’ve experienced.
Briefly, discuss what losing access to a local supply of vapor products will mean for you (Will you shop out-of-state, in neighboring cities, or online? Will you make your own e-liquid at home or purchase products on an underground market?).
- Be brief, Be kind, and Say Thank You 🙂
For those new to vaping or just generally unfamiliar with federal regulations, the premarket tobacco application (or PMTA) deadline was September 9, 2020. This application is required to keep or bring new tobacco/nicotine products on the market. It is estimated that 95% to 98% of vapor manufacturers will not be able to afford this process and will not be capable of filing on time.
But 98% is not 100% (as opponents are fond of saying).
The FDA has already approved some new tobacco products that are being sold in flavors other than tobacco (specifically mint, menthol, and wintergreen). In the weeks prior to the September deadline, the FDA accepted for review several applications for bottled e-liquid in flavors ranging from tobacco to cereal to fruit. Despite the rhetoric from certain members of congress and the incessant pro-drug war drum beat of tobacco prohibitionists, FDA is still capable of authorizing flavored smoke-free nicotine products for market. Moreover, FDA may even allow manufactures of these products to market them as safer than cigarettes, if they apply for and receive a modified risk order.
A flavor ban in Kansas would undermine any decision by FDA to allow low-risk flavored tobacco products on the market after having met the “appropriate for the protection of public health” standard. Even without involving the FDA, flavor bans are being enacted without thorough consideration of the negative consequences. Sales data from Massachusetts and New York suggest that many people who were vaping prior to the flavor bans simply returned to smoking. A similar outcome is being observed in San Francisco, the first major US city to pass a flavor ban targeting vapers.
While a flavor ban may amount to an inconvenience for teens who are experimenting with substance use, it is actively harming parents who are trying to quit smoking and set a positive example for their children.
The public hearing scheduled for Monday, Feb. 1 is cancelled. The following is still applicable for hearings in the future.
To listen to the hearing, visit the committee web page and click on “Room 346-S Audio Stream.”
Audio of the hearing should be available when the meeting starts.
HOUSE FEDERAL AND STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
RULES FOR CONFEREES
It is the policy of the House Federal and State Affairs Committee to ensure and promote free and open discussion of matters coming before the Committee. Because of the importance of issues that are to be discussed, certain rules are necessary. Just as there are rules relating to the conduct of committee business when matters are debated among committee members, the following rules apply to the hearing process itself. Any questions about these rules should be directed to the committee chairman. By appearing before the Committee each conferee is presumed to have read the rules and therefore has agreed to be bound by these rules.
We thank you for your understanding of and compliance with these rules.
1. The chair shall determine the committee agenda, including scheduling and the order of business.
2. Individuals wishing to appear and provide verbal testimony before the committee MUST notify the
committee secretary no later than 24 hours in advance of the hearing.
3. The individual’s testimony MUST be submitted in written form and a pdf of that testimony emailed
to the Committee Assistant NO LATER THAN 9:00 a.m. THE DAY PRIOR TO THE HEARING. The email address of the Committee Assistant is firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. A cover sheet will be required for the testimony. A sample cover sheet is attached. (download PDF)
5. Conferees should NOT read their testimony. Rather, testimony should be presented in a summary fashion.
Conferees shall introduce themselves, identify on whose behalf they are appearing, identify whether they
are a proponent, opponent or neutral on the bill and as briefly as possible, state the reasons for their
6. If suggested amendment(s) are to be offered, a proposed draft of the amendment(s) must be provided
7. Conferees shall address their remarks during testimony to committee members and staff only.
8. Where the number of hearings and/or conferees scheduled warrant time limitation, the chair may limit
testimony to a specific number of minutes. The chair reserves the right to limit testimony that is
cumulative in nature or testimony that is, in the judgment of the chair, not relevant to the matter under
8. Testimony shall relate to the subject matter of the measure under consideration. Conferees testifying
on unrelated subjects will be admonished and if unrelated testimony continues, the chair will terminate
the conferee’s testimony.
9. While the taking of testimony is not preceded with the formality of an oath, by appearing before the
committee every conferee hereby certifies that his or her testimony is truthful, based upon facts that are capable of verification and offered in good faith. Conferees shall promptly bring to the committee’s
attention any qualifications or corrections in their testimony.
10. The chair reserves the right to take such action as may be necessary to prevent disruptive behavior in
the committee room during hearings and deliberations.
11. The chair reserves the right to take such action as may be necessary to prevent or correct a violation
of these rules.
12. Cellular phones and pagers with audible tones must be turned off or disabled while in the committee
13. Conferees may be allowed to appear via live video conference through Webex. Conferees appearing
in this manner shall follow all written rules and verbal directives of the Chair.
14. Committee members shall not be approached during committee hearings or deliberation by anyone
other than fellow legislative members or legislative staff. This applies to meetings in person or by live
15. There shall be no recording in the committee room or of a live video conference — audibly,
photographically or otherwise — of committee voting except by the committee secretary.
* Click here to view the entire “Committee and Conferees Rules, 2021” document