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Maryland – Stop a Flavor Ban! (NO on SB 273, SB 177)
01.28.21 – SB 273 & SB 177 (Flavor Ban) are scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Finance at 1:00 PM.
01.25.21 – Updated CTA by adding SB 177 and additional instructions for submitting testimony.
The list of restrictions that would be imposed by Maryland’s SB 273 and SB 177 head spinning:
- No entry to a vape shop without electronic ID verification
- Flavor Ban (SB 273: Pod/closed systems)(SB 177: e-liquid)
- No online/remote sales
- Component and Ingredient disclosure that would preempt FDA’s authority
- And more…
Meanwhile, combustible tobacco products will remain on the shelves of very accessible convenience stores where anyone of any age can enter, even though the most dangerous tobacco products are being openly promoted and sold to customers. Not only is this legislation wildly unbalanced, it goes above and beyond what states are allowed to regulate.
SB 177 & SB 273 (which advocates on the ground are describing as “the nuclear option”) are scheduled for a tightly controlled “public” hearing on
Thursday, January 28, 1:00 PM
Senate Committee on Finance
(See “Witness Guidelines” below for details)
CASAA has learned that oral testimony at this hearing will be by invitation only. Maryland advocates are encouraged to make contact with their lawmakers now and follow the instruction on the “2021 Witness Guidelines” below for written testimony (pg.3). Anyone wishing to submit written testimony must create a MyMGA account.
- Urge your lawmakers to reject SB 273 & SB 177, 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 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.
Senator Kramer’s flavor ban 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 who are trying to quit smoking and set a positive example for their children.