CASAA calls out WHO on statement on vaping filled with misinformation and lies. Respected tobacco harm reduction advocate retires. FDA goes after tiny number of counterfeit disposable vapes. White House pulls back from menthol ban and more!
Scroll to the bottom of this post for a link to the audio/video versions of this post!
CALL TO ACTION // Stop A Federal Tax!
Comparing “oranges to oranges” (in this case milligrams of nicotine in vapes vs cigarettes,) if HR 5715 is enacted, vapes would be taxed at a rate approximately 5X higher than cigarettes! Vaping consumers will be paying up to 6¢/mg of nicotine compared to 1.1¢/mg in cigarettes.
The tax hike is just as bad, if not worse, for nicotine pouches, snus, and moist snuff — all reduced risk products compared to cigarettes!
TAKE ACTION: Fight a National Vapor Tax!
CALL TO ACTION // Pennsylvania: Stop a Flavor Ban!
HB 1161 would ban tobacco and nicotine products in any flavor other than tobacco.
TAKE ACTION: Pennsylvania: Fight a Flavor Ban!
CALL TO ACTION | Michigan: Stop a Slew of Anti-Vaping Laws
STOP an onslaught of anti-vaping bills!
Lawmakers in Michigan are once again throwing everything and the kitchen sink into a raft of anti-vaping bills aiming to reduce everyone’s access to these life-saving products! These bills include everything from a flavor ban and tax hikes to repealing state preemption of local tobacco retailer laws.
TAKE ACTION: Michigan: Stop a Slew of Anti-Vaping Laws
TOBACCO HARM REDUCTION IN THE MEDIA
Schools Battle Young Students Vaping
The media, including this article, just continues to fan the flames of youth vaping hysteria. In TRUTH, youth tobacco use is at an all-time low in SD. In fact, 5% of SD middle schoolers SMOKED in 2011, but just 5.4% used ANY tobacco product (including vaping) in 2021.
This article uses anecdotal stories about confiscated vapes and a false claim that heart risks from vaping are “similar to cigarettes…increasing the risk of death.” It also contains the claim that 80,000 fentanyl-laced vapes were confiscated in Omaha, but we could only find a story about 80,000 PILLS.
Finally, it says 1/3 of high school students vape. That was true back in 2019 when the vaping rate was 27.7%, but that has dropped to 10% in 2023, which is 1/10. (Remember, too, that “current vaping” is defined as “EVEN ON PUFF” in the past 30 days.)
READ MORE: Schools battle young students vaping
Brookline’s Phased Cigarette Ban is Unwise, Irrational, and Deeply Patronizing
This insightful article gives us hope that more journalists will finally start questioning public health’s prohibition narrative and their war on tobacco harm reduction!
“Prohibition is almost never effective at preventing the consumption of a product individuals wish to use.”
~ Jeff Jacoby, The Boston Globe
Does govt really know better than #consumers on what they can buy & consume?
Brookline’s phased cigarette ban is unwise, irrational, and deeply patronizing https://t.co/hAWVzANq6C via @BostonGlobe @Jeff_Jacoby #antichoice
— Jon Hurst (@JonHurstRAM) December 3, 2023
TOBACCO HARM REDUCTION
The Slow-Moving Train Wreck of Australian Vaping Policy
This is very sad news for Australian vapers, but after nearly 15 years of THR advocacy, we can relate to his pain and frustration. Much love for Dr. Mendelsohn and we wish him the best in his retirement and future endeavors!
Advocates Dismayed at Denmark’s “Horrible” Nicotine Clampdown
In a country where 18.6% of adults smoke, they want to raise the cost and ban flavors of harm reduction products in a foolhardy attempt to dissuade youth.
This is akin to banning seat belts because kids feel safer driving recklessly with seat belts.
Health Minister Slams Nicotine Pouches, Tobacco Company Alleges Defamation
Oh, Canada! What are you thinking??
As if it isn’t ridiculous enough to continue the war on vaping, now the government is targeting nicotine products that youth aren’t even using.
Despite good intentions, ban on menthol may have ugly consequences
“Bans don’t make smokers quit; instead they might pave the way for an illicit market, potentially culminating in escalated law enforcement interactions, subsequent arrests and criminal charges.”
~ Jessica Smith-Petersen, a chief deputy public defender in Clark County
Biden administration pulls back from banning menthol cigarettes
“Unless there are real safeguards against criminal prosecution of Black and Brown communities, the proposed menthol ban will have unintended consequences.”
We KNOW that bans don’t work!!
1.4 Million Disposable Vapes Seized by FDA May Have Been Counterfeits
Aside from the counterfeit angle (which is pretty funny), this story is remarkable because FDA put months of work into a bust that–at best–removed a 2- or 3-day supply of disposables from the market. Not even a small dent.
1.4 Million Disposable Vapes Seized by FDA May Have Been Counterfeits @Vaping360
"While the FDA press release doesn’t specifically say the products seized were legitimate Elf Bar/EB, Funky Republic and RELX devices that were shipped from those manufacturers’ factories, it…
— Allison (@alli_vapes) December 15, 2023
Statement by WHO Filled with Misinformation, Disingenuity, Misdirection, Half-truths, Unproven Claims, Irony and Outright Lies
The World Health Organization continues it’s deadly war on much safer alternatives to smoking by blatantly lying to the public in a statement about the risks of vaping, and urging countries to ban and tax lifesaving #vaping products. One day public health historians will look back and wonder “What the **** were they thinking??”
There’s a lot to unpack here, so buckle down for a long thread…
The statement highlighted above is a disingenuous…lie. The gold standard in scientific reviews found vapor products to be VERY effective. While most are clinical studies, not “population level,” we cannot ignore the fact that smoking has dramatically declined as vaping levels have risen.
What “alarming evidence?” There are fewer people smoking than ever before in countries where people are switching to vaping, without any reports of serious adverse effects from the vaping. In fact, most vapers report IMPROVED health effects!
“Recruited” by whom? Youth are more likely to find out about vaping from an anti-vaping campaign on youth-oriented media than something from the industry. And the fact that overall tobacco and nicotine use has DECLINED in the US refutes the claim that youth are getting “hooked.”
A half-truth. “Toxic” is relative. The dose makes the poison. Not only do vapor products contain FAR lower levels of those potential toxins (maybe even to the point of not even being harmful,) thousands of other chemicals that are found in smoke are not found in vapor.
Extremely misleading. The effect of nicotine on brain development has only been studied in RATS and millions of adults who smoked didn’t have any brain damage from adolescent smoking. Additionally, studies have found nicotine can enhance learning and memory.
An unproven claim. According to this 2023 review of the available research, they can only guess based on how smoking affects pregnancy (and vaping is not smoking) and looking at animal studies. This claim is based on conjecture and ignores the significant harm reduction potential for expectant mothers who smoke.
A misleading half-truth. What kind of risks does it pose? How significant are the risks? Are the risks greater than or less than other acceptable risks we take every day, such as breathing in fumes from auto emissions, cooking oils, fireplaces, scented candles and air fresheners?
A misdirection to hide facts. It’s true that the U.S. “rates” are 10% of high school students vaping vs. 7.76% of adults vaping. However, that equates to 1.56 million high school students vaping vs 11.1 million adults vaping. Even with high school and middle school combined it’s still only 2.13 million. Far more adults vape than youth!
How ironic, then, that social media (and television and radio) has been over-saturated with “public service” ads telling youth that vaping is popular with their friends, comes in “kid-friendly” flavors and is easy to hide from parents and teachers. It certainly isn’t the industry that’s telling youth those things. 🤔
Studies also show that most young people who try e-cigarettes don’t become regular users and most who use e-cigarettes frequently were either A) already smoking before vaping or B) already at high risk to smoke due to common liability. Also, U.S .youth smoking is at a record low 4 years after the so-called “youth vaping epidemic.” So, why didn’t the “epidemic” raise smoking rates?
Sure. You just have to “ban harder,” right? Ask Australia how that’s been working out for them:
Only Bloomberg-funded organizations like WHO insist vaping does more harm to the population then good. Later in the statement they’ll talk about the fact that the tobacco industry continues “to sell billions of cigarettes,” but let’s reduce the appeal of safer alternatives. 🤦♂️
The best available evidence shows traditional cessation strategies (NRT, medications, etc.,) have a dismal success rate and, unlike vaping, none of those would ever inspire someone without any intention of quitting to try them then “accidentally” quit, as described in this study.
Again, ask Australia how their prescription scheme has been working for them. Whoever came up with the boneheaded idea that low risk alternatives to smoking should be more difficult to buy than deadly cigarettes should be fired NOT emulated!
“False” evidence? The FDA has authorized several vapor products as “appropriate for the protection of the public health,” the UK gov’t states e-cigs are “far less harmful than cigarettes,” and the NZ Ministry of Health states vaping is “less harmful than smoking for smokers.”🤔
Tobacco Industry Ads Generate Billions of Views and Reach Millions of Kids on Instagram, Facebook, X and TikTok
“Nearly half of audience is under 25.”
In truth, it’s 40%, meaning 60% are OVER 25. Downplayed is that just 4.2% of the audience is under 18, so the vast majority are ADULTS who might otherwise SMOKE. Studies show ads have TINY influence on youth uptake.
Underage Cigarette and Vape Sales Increase While Wisconsin Law Lags Behind
What this article fails to acknowledge is that overall youth tobacco use (including vaping) reached a RECORD LOW in 2023 & one reason “underage” sales are up is because tens of thousands of 18, 19 & 20 year old ADULTS are now considered “underage.”
They also include unscientific anti-vaping talking points from Tobacco Control. In truth, youth vaping is NOT rising, does NOT lead to smoking, very few youth get “addicted” to vaping (and they were likely to have SMOKED instead) and vaping is NOT proven to increase “asthma-like symptoms and potential decreased fertility.”
Should Governments Do More to Discourage People From Smoking and Vaping?
“One thing is clear about underage e-cigarette use: Adolescents like flavors.”
Equally clear: Adults like flavors.
And no, the 2023 NYTS did not show evidence that flavor bans “may have contributed to a decline” in vaping. As the chart shows, high school vaping has declined significantly since 2019, while the percentage of those who vape using flavors has risen from 71.7% to 90.3%. With more high school vapers using flavors than ever before, how do they conclude flavor bans had any effect?🤔
Additionally, studies have shown that flavor bans actually increased smoking.
Maine Panel Looks to Ensure Settlement Funds Target Tobacco Use Prevention
“The trend toward electronic cigarettes is decreasing the funds the state receives from the agreement with tobacco companies, creating a gap in funding, according to the legislation that established the commission.
“The problem right now is the (master settlement agreement) funds are declining over time,” said Yvonne Jonk of the Maine Rural Health Research Center. “We know that the trend is a reduction in smoking of tobacco products but vaping is on the rise. Short of some kind of lawsuit against the vaping companies, how are we going to rectify the fact that those dollars are on the downhill?”
Did Ms. Jonk just expose Tobacco Control’s true priorities? It’s obvious from this that vaping is reducing deadly smoking, but that means less funds for “tobacco” prevention coming from cigarette sales, so Ms. Jonk low-key suggests suing vaping companies for…what? Reducing smoking? 🤔 Tobacco Control is out of control!
Sales Data Indicate That Restrictions on Flavored Vaping Products Encourage Smoking
A study found a “high rate of substitution” between vapes and cigarettes, suggesting that policies aimed at preventing underage use are undermining public health.
Real people. Real Stories.
Thomas tried to quit smoking many times over 30 years using “recommended” cessation methods. Fortunately, he was able to switch to vaping and now has been smoke-free for 6 years!
Share YOUR story at: CASAA Testimonial Project
CASAA IN ACTION
CASAA Live Clip | Lt. Diane Goldstein
Lt. Diane Goldstein of The Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP), on how consumer stories make a huge difference in changing lawmakers’ minds.
Watch the full episode: How Will A Menthol Ban Impact Law Enforcement?
Environmental Concerns Rise as Vape Disposal Harms Freshwater Ecosystems
CASAA CEO Alex Clark weighs in on a discussion with Fox32-Chicago (starting at 3:14) about reducing/addressing e-cigarette waste.
So what’s the best way to dispose of these products in an environmentally-friendly way? Alex Clark from the Consumer Advocates for Smoke Free Alternatives Association said a good place to start may be going back to where the purchase was first made.
“Anybody who is buying these products from a specialty retailer, a vape shop, or even a tobacconist that sells vapor products, a lot of times those shops will accept devices for recycling,” he said.
Clark urges the public to check local municipal websites for other disposal options because many offer convenient options, and also urges people to avoid single-use vapor products.
“When anyone is looking at that, I always recommend looking into open-system products. They are more durable and they’re easier to break down. Younger generations are much more environmentally-conscious, so that’s going to change buying habits,” he said.
CASAA IN ACTION // CASAA Live
Lindsey Stroud, author, Director of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance Consumer Center and Visiting Fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum, joins CASAA CEO Alex Clark and CASAA Member Coordinator Kristin Noll-Marsh for Part 2 of a two-part series breaking down vaping by the numbers! In this episode, she counters claims that more youth vape than adults, that vaping doesn’t help adults quit smoking and that flavor bans are good for public health.
Catch the next show LIVE Saturday, January 13, 2024 at 4:30PM ET/3:30PM CT!
TAKE ACTION // CASAA State Facebook Groups
Have you joined your CASAA State Facebook group yet? Check it out now! Click the link below, click on your state on the map, then click the “Join Now” button to go to your state’s group page. It’s as easy as that to stay updated on local happenings, meet local advocates and never miss a Call to Action in your state!
Don’t forget to also follow our official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CASAAmedia
FIND YOUR GROUP: CASAA State Locator
CASAA STORE // Apparel and More
Show your support by shopping our store! Our president (and brilliant website/swag designer) Danielle has added some awesome new designs to CASAA’s apparel shop!
VISIT: CASAA Apparel and Swag Store
CASAA MEDIA // Spotify
CASAA’s podcast is on Spotify! Please give us a follow here:
CASAA IN ACTION // Twitter Spaces
The week we recap the Reagan-Udall sessions with Amanda Wheeler, Tim Andrews and CASAA CEO Alex Clark, who all presented to the panel about FDA’s issues regulating reduced-harm products. What grade would you give FDA? Also available on CASAA’s Spotify channel (above.)
— CASAA (@CASAAmedia) October 26, 2022
CASAA MEDIA // Podcast
Catch up on past tobacco harm reduction news with Alex and Logan on the CASAA podcasts on SoundCloud every Monday and now live on YouTube and Facebook every Saturday at 3:30 PM.