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Minnesota – Stop a Flavor Ban!
- 02.27.23 – Introduced and referred to S. HHS committee. Scheduled for hearing on 03.01.23, 8:30 AM.
SF 2123 would ban the sale of any flavored nicotine or tobacco products regardless of FDA authorization. Moreover, this bill would prohibit the sale of products in flavors other than tobacco for which FDA has granted “modified risk orders” (products that can be marketed as less harmful than smoking).
SF 2123 is scheduled for a hearing on
- Wednesday, March 1, 2023
- 8:30 AM
- Health and Human Services Committee
- Room 1100 Minnesota Senate Bldg / Online (see how to deliver testimony below – due to time constraints, written comments are preferred and must be submitted before the end of business on Feb. 28.)
This is just the first of what we expect will be several committee hearings and now is a great time to start contacting lawmakers and urging them to oppose the flavor ban. Please send your officials a message and be sure to include your personal experience with vaping and other smoke-free alternatives to smoking.
- Urge your officials to oppose the flavor ban, SF 2123, 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 🙂
- Use the talking points above to develop your comments.
- Spoken Testimony will be limited to two minutes, so written comments are preferred.
- Send an Email to the Committee Administrator, Anna Burke: firstname.lastname@example.org with your testimony. If you would like to speak at the hearing please note that in your email as well and request a Zoom link. You do not have to speak in order to submit written testimony.
- Testimony and requests to speak must be submitted before “end of business” Tuesday, 02.28.23 (no later than 4:00PM)
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 are effectively priced out of the authorization process.
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.
Minnesota’s flavor ban would undermine any decision by the FDA allowing 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.