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Maine – Stop a Flavor Ban!
05/12/21 – Divided Report
05/12/21 – Committee Work Session
05/07/21 – Hearing: 9:00 AM, Cross Building, Room 209
04/20/21 – Received by the Clerk of the House, Referred to Committee on Health and Human Services.
LD 1550 would ban the sale of vapor and tobacco products in flavors other than tobacco. This includes mint, menthol, and wintergreen.
CASAA expects this bill to be reported out of the Joint Committee on Helath and Human Services soon. LD 1550 will then head to the full House of Representatives for further consideration.
#FunFact: FDA has already approved modified risk orders for multiple smoke-free tobacco products such as snus and heat-not-burn in mint, wintergreen, and menthol flavors. Products are only granted this authorization if the FDA determines that marketing them as low-risk is “appropriate for the protection of public health.”
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 the antis 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.
LD 1550 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.
While a flavor ban may amount to an inconvenience for teens experimenting with substance use, it is actively harming parents and other adults who are trying to quit smoking.
Take Action Now!
Points to include in your comments, phone calls, and testimony:
- Urge your officials to reject LD 1550, which would restrict your ability to use low-risk alternatives to smoking and send people back to smoking or to buy their vapor products from informal sources.
- 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 🙂