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Elk Grove, CA – [Concluded] Stop a Flavor Ban
The Elk Grove City Council is considering an ordinance that would ban the sale of flavored tobacco and nicotine products. This proposal is scheduled for a public hearing on
January 13, 2021
(See “Meeting Details” below)
Please make plans to attend this meeting remotely. We are providing talking points below to help you prepare your comments.
Prior to the hearing, please send a message to your local officials urging them to oppose the flavor ban. Make sure to edit the message we’re providing to include your experience with switching to smoke-free products like vaping.
Points to include in your comments, phone calls, and spoken testimony:
(Note: Each commenter may provide one three-minute comment per item.)
- Urge your council member to reject the flavor ban ordinance, 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 🙂
If you wish to provide oral comments during the meeting, you may provide your phone number to the Clerk (via email) at email@example.com with a request to speak during “Item 9.3.” At the time the item is called, the Clerk will call the number provided and place the call on speaker so comments may be heard by anyone participating in the meeting. The three-minute limit will be strictly observed for all oral comments submitted prior to the meeting, and for oral comments made via telephone during the meeting. Each commenter may provide one three-minute comment per item.
The live meeting can be viewed here, via the City’s website.
Members of the public who wish to provide public comment, either for matters not on the agenda or on a particular matter, are encouraged to submit those comments in writing prior to the meeting by emailing the City Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org. Such written comments must be received by 4:00 p.m. the day of the City Council meeting to ensure that the written comments are provided to the City Council. Such written comments received by 4:00 p.m. on the day of the City Council meeting will be provided to the full Council and staff, and posted on the City website.
Meeting Agenda, Jan. 13, 2021 (See Item 9.3)
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 approving 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 a modified risk order.
Elk Grove’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 and a published study on San Francisco suggest that many people who were vaping prior to the flavor bans simply returned to smoking. While a flavor ban may be an inconvenience for teens trying to get their hands on nicotine, it is actively harming parents who are trying to quit smoking.
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