Dear CASAA Members,
June and July saw us involved in a lot of activity with the FDA. In early June, CASAA and other advocacy groups filed a 90-day extension request for the comment period for the advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) regarding a product standard for flavored vapor and tobacco products. The FDA only extended the period for 30 days, but this did not stop CASAA from submitting a comprehensive comment on behalf of our members. (See link below.) Additionally, CASAA worked collaboratively with the Vapor Technology Association (VTA) to encourage consumers to submit declarations regarding your experiences with vapor products to the flavors ANPRM docket. The campaign generated more than 9,000 comments.
Because CASAA is a tobacco harm reduction organization and our focus is on promoting smoke-free alternatives, we generally do not take a position on regulation of combustible products. But, since CASAA also represents current smokers who may in the future choose to use Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) products, we also submitted a comment to the FDA regarding the development of a potential nicotine product standard for combustible tobacco products. The FDA claims that “lowering nicotine to a minimally or non-addictive level could potentially save millions of lives, both in the near and long-terms.” CASAA is concerned that the unintended consequences of dramatically reducing nicotine levels in combustible cigarettes may actually harm smokers instead of reducing their risks. That comment to the FDA is also linked in the newsletter below.
Even numbered years tend to be lighter in terms of workload from state legislatures, but local governments never rest. Milwaukee, WI was the latest major U.S. city to irrationally include vaping in its anti-smoking ordinance, and Massachusetts–where 178 municipalities have raised the minimum legal purchase age for all tobacco and vapor products to 21–was the latest state to pass a Tobacco 21 law that takes away access to safer alternatives from 18 to 20 year old smokers. And even as surveys show youth smoking and vaping rates continue to decline, more and more states and municipalities attempt to use flavored tobacco, mythical “gateway” effects, and youth access to pass laws further restricting smokers’ access to safer alternatives.
In better news, the San Ramon City Council elected to have staff research and review a proposal to expand San Ramon’s smoking ordinance to include electronic cigarettes, as well as potentially ban the sale of flavored nicotine products, rather than “making a decision based on ‘cherry-picked’ information.” And a new study entitled “Characterisation of the Spatial and Temporal Dispersion Differences between Exhaled e-cigarette mist and Cigarette Smoke,” which is a collaboration between Kaunas University of Technology in Lithuania, EMPA (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology), ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) and Fontem Ventures (vapor product company), added to the growing body of evidence that vaping indoors is unlikely to pose an air quality issue.
It’s important that CASAA members remain vigilant, reporting proposed laws to CASAA, acting quickly on Calls to Action, and getting friends and family to join CASAA. The more members CASAA has – the greater its strength!
CASAA Tobacco 21 policy statement: “Including low-risk alternatives in T21 laws is unwise, misleading”
Proposals to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products have been working their way through cities and municipalities for roughly ten years. In 2013, New York City– known for its aggressive tobacco control policies–was the first major US city to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco and vapor products to 21. In 2015, Hawaii became the first state …
Batteries & Bottles: Traveling Safely This Summer
With the summer travel season here, many consumers are wondering about traveling on vacation with their vapor devices and liquids. Lithium batteries are often the most concerning aspect. Headlines appear almost every week of a cell phone, laptop, headphones, hoverboards and even vapor devices overheating or even exploding. The next most common concern is having liquids confiscated by the Transportation Security …
CASAA’s Comment to FDA on Flavors
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM), Regulation of Flavors in Tobacco Products, to obtain information related to the role that flavors play in tobacco products. Specifically, FDA is seeking comments on, among other things, how flavors attract youth to initiate tobacco product use, and about whether and how certain flavors may help …
CASAA Submits Comment to FDA Regarding Nicotine Limits
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued Tobacco Product Standard for Nicotine Level of Combusted Cigarettes, an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) seeking public comment for consideration in developing a potential nicotine product standard for combustible tobacco products. The FDA claims that “lowering nicotine to a minimally or non-addictive level could potentially save millions of lives, …
NY – Monroe County – Stop Tobacco AND Vapor 21!
ENDED: Monroe County’s Agenda/Charter Committee voted against the proposed local law that would raise the age to purchase all tobacco and vapor products to 21-years-old. Although the proposal may be dead for this year, there is clearly interest among county lawmakers to restrict access to all tobacco and nicotine products as if they are just as harmful as cigarettes.
CASAA encourages our Monroe County members to remain vigilant and reach out to county legislators who voted against the measure to thank them. . . .
Milwaukee, WI – VETO the indoor vaping ban! (ENDED)
ENDED: This ordinance was signed by Mayor Barrett and took effect on July 10, 2018. An ordinance (file #180354) which bans vaping in the same places where the state of Wisconsin prohibits smoking has unanimously passed Milwaukee’s Common Council and is headed to the mayor’s desk for signing. Please take action NOW and urge Mayor Tom Barrett to veto the …
AK – SB 63 Keep Vaping OUT of Smoking Laws! (ENDED)
ENDED: SB 63 was signed into law on 7/18/18. While this bill amended Alaska’s smoking law to include vaping in the definition of smoking, the bill also includes several exemptions. Notably, the prohibition on “smoking” does not apply to retail tobacco or “e-cigarette” stores that are freestanding or, if connected to a neighboring business, have a separate entrance (vape shops …
NJ – Gov. Murphy is proposing a MASSIVE tax on vaping starting in FY 2019
(Update – 06.16.18) Two versions of the vapor tax are reportedly racing toward floor votes. A 4132 – Would enact a tax of 10c/mililiter on e-liquid containing nicotine. S 2731 – Would enact a tax of 20c/milliliter on e-liquid containing nicotine. Both of these bills are likely to be heard in their respective budget committees on Monday, June 18th. NOW …
TESTIMONIAL OF THE MONTH
“My wife and I stopped smoking on the same day we started vaping. I had been a pipe and cigar smoker for over 35 years, my wife was a cigarette smoker. Our doctors were thrilled and we both feel the benefits from having stopped smoking. Vaping is amazingly effective at providing smokers with the feeling and pleasure we got from smoking. I don’t even use nicotine in my vaping liquids, my wife uses 6 mg. I believe allowing the vaping industry to flourish is a public health issue—meaning it benefits the public health enormously. I have no problems regulating access to under age children (I think 18 and under is a fine cut off) but to use the argument that vaping leads to smoking, I believe, is a false agenda. Vaping leads away from smoking. I am a progressive Democrat and I often find myself among a more conservative vaping community. On this issue, I am against restricting vaping in the United States other than for children.”
Be sure to share your own testimonial here.
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CASAA is 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization. While CASAA is a non-profit organization and pays no income taxes on the donations it receives, contributions or gifts to CASAA are not deductible by the donor as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.