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CASAA Newsletter – March 2018

Welcome back to CASAA’s Newsletter. We know it’s been several months since we last sent this out, but we are once again able to devote resources to delivering this to your inbox monthly. We hope you’ll find our March update useful and informative.

On a personal note, February marked my five-year anniversary of switching to vapor products and becoming smoke-free. As some may remember, 2013 marked the start of vaping’s meteoric rise in popularity. In fact, between 2013 and 2015, CASAA membership skyrocketed as consumers became aware of the regulatory threat from the FDA and state laws that jeopardize our access to these life-saving products.

On Thursday, March 1, I had the opportunity to provide written testimony on behalf of CASAA to the Rhode Island Senate Health and Human Services committee regarding a bill (SB 2228) that would include vaping in the state’s existing indoor clean air law. It dawned on me that my vaperversary (as we are fond of calling it) is an annual opportunity to share my story and my passion for protecting access to smoke-free alternatives with lawmakers. It’s the perfect opportunity for you, too.

Hopefully, by now, you are aware of CASAA’s Testimonials Project–if you haven’t already added your story, please take a moment this weekend to add your voice. The Testimonials Project is a valuable tool that CASAA uses for advocacy purposes and can even be an incredible resource for research. But sharing your story isn’t limited to a collection on the internet or even as a mention among friends. In addition to sharing your smoke-free journey with us, I want to take this opportunity to encourage all of our members to share your smoke-free anniversary with lawmakers, every year.

You can find an up-to-date list of your state and federal officials and their contact information at 2018 is an election year, so please take advantage of the voter registration tools on the site as well.

If you don’t have a smoke-free anniversary coming up soon–and even if you do–please add your story to an email to congress urging them to support modernizing the predicate date for vapor products. You can take action at


Thank you for your support and participation!

Alex Clark




ACS to Clinicians: Vaping is an acceptable last resort…

…but we still want it regulated like cigarettes. — In February, The American Cancer Society (ACS) published a partial change in their position on the role that vapor products can play in helping people quit smoking. By way of summary, ACS has updated their advice to clinicians regarding vapor products by recommending that “clinicians support all attempts to quit the …

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CASAA files Amicus Brief in Nicopure/R2B FDA Deeming Rule Challenge

– Washington D.C.

Last year, Nicopure Labs and The Right to be Smoke-Free Coalition (“R2B”) sued the FDA, arguing against portions of the Tobacco Control Act and the FDA’s Deeming Rule as they are being applied to vapor products. The court ruled in favor of the FDA at that time, so the plaintiffs filed an appeal in the D.C. Court …

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Real World Evidence Doesn’t Support Pneumonia Concerns

– London, UK

Contrary to the headlines, a recent study published in the European Respiratory Journal offers no proof that vaping causes, or significantly increases, the risk of getting pneumonia. In fact, vaping may even decrease the risk in many users, who otherwise would be smoking. While the research suggests that vaping might increase the risk of pneumonia-related bacteria “sticking” …

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Public Health England Reaffirms Support of Vaping

-London, U.K.

Public Health England (PHE) has released its latest annual report on e-cigarettes, again stating that vaping poses only a fraction of the health risk of tobacco smoking and should be encouraged among smokers. A key finding of the PHE report was that “there is much public misunderstanding about nicotine. Less than 10% of adults understand that most of …

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Multiple Vape Shops File Against FDA

-Washington D.C.

Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), a donor-supported organization that has successfully litigated for limited government, private property rights, and free enterprise, announced Tuesday that it would be representing several small vape shop owners in lawsuits filed against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The filed complaints object to the FDA “Deeming Rule” that requires the nearly impossible Premarket Approval …

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More misleading headlines about vaping

– New York City, New York

A poorly designed mouse study from the New York University School of Medicine in New York City is causing news outlets around the world to falsely report that the use of vapor products increases the risk of cancer and heart disease. “In medical science, mouse studies are of very limited use in determining effects …

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FDA ends nicotine addiction experiment on squirrel monkeys

Earlier this month, the FDA announced it was permanently ending nicotine addiction experiments on monkeys that were part of the agency’s potential effort to force cigarette manufacturers to lower the nicotine content of their products. In a November 2017 letter to Commissioner Gottlieb, CASAA commended this decision and urged the FDA not to resume these misguided studies or rely on …

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CASAA Addressed TPSAC Regarding Modified Risk Product

–Silver Spring, MD

On January 24-25, 2018, the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) will discuss modified risk tobacco product applications (MRTPAs), submitted by Philip Morris Products S.A. for the IQOS Heatsticks systems. TPSAC reviews and evaluates safety, dependence, and health issues relating to tobacco products and provides appropriate advice, information and recommendations to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs. …

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CASAA to FDA’s TPSAC: PMI’s modified risk claims should go further!

Full text of statement below. Please note that a portion of our statement was omitted during the presentation due to time constraints. In the interest of transparency, we have included the omitted COI statement here. January 25, 2018 Testimony Delivered to FDA Tobacco Product Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) RE: PMI IQOS Modified Risk Tobacco Application – – Members of the …

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Modernize the Predicate Date for Vapor Products!

By January 19th, Congress will need to come up with a plan to continue funding the government. This could be just another continuing resolution or we could be looking at real budget talks happening in the coming weeks. In either case, today, we have an opportunity to urge support for predicate date change language in the appropriations side of the …

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CASAA Submits Comment to OMB Regarding CDC Campaign

Focus put on misleading “Tips From Smokers” campaign In October 2017 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) submitted an information collection request titled “National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System” to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. The OMB subsequently requested comment from the public to determine whether or not the collection and evaluation of …

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US – Modernize the Predicate Date for Vapor Products!

Budget negotiations are happening right now and we only have a short time to make an impression. This is the time to reach out to Congress and urge them to support us.

By March 22nd, Congress will need …

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WA – Stop Tobacco (and Vaping) 21!

SB 6048, which would raise the minimum legal age to purchase ALL tobacco and vapor products, is scheduled for a public hearing on Thursday, February 22, 2018 (agenda) 3:30 PM Senate Committee on Ways & Means (committee page) Please make plans to attend this hearing. Even if you do not plan to speak your presence is important as it demonstrates …

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UT – Stop an outrageous tax on vaping!

(Estimated end of legislative session on March 8th)

(Update – 02.22.18) On Wednesday, February 21st, the House Revenue and Taxation Committee gave a favorable recommendation to HB 88 and voted it on to the next legislative step. The favorable vote came after the bill was amended to change the proposed tax rate for vapor products from 86% to 29% of wholesale.   But this is still an unjustifiable …

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Mankato, MN rejects Tobacco (and Vapor) 21. Help us say Thank You!

(Update 02.14.18) On Monday, February 12th, the Mankato City Council narrowly rejected an ordinance that would raise the age to purchase all tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21-years-old by a 4 to 3 vote. North Mankato’s plans to implement Tobacco (and Vapor) 21 may also be affected by this decision. The ordinance was set to go into effect …

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MD – Stop Tobacco and Vapor 21!

SB 456 would raise the age to purchase ALL tobacco and vapor products to 21-years-old. This bill is scheduled for a public hearing on Thursday, February 15, 2018 Senate Finance Committee 1:00 PM 3 East Miller Senate Building 11 Bladen Street Annapolis, MD 21401 Please make plans to attend this hearing. Even if you do not plan to speak your …

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IL – Three bills would deny adult access to life-saving vapor products!

(Update – 02.08.16) Three bills that would raise the age to purchase vapor products and other low-risk tobacco products to 21-years-old are moving on to second and third readings in the house and senate. We need your help to stop these bills from going any further. Please take action now by sending a message to your lawmakers urging them to …

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NY – Rockland County – Stop Tobacco & Vapor 21!

(Update – 02.07.18) After hearing comments from the public at Tuesday night’s hearing, the Rockland Co. Legislature has scheduled a vote for the Tobacco 21 law on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Please continue to reach out to county lawmakers and urge them to oppose this misguided regulation. Take Action – Send a Message Legislators’ phone numbers and email addresses are …

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IN – Lafayette – Stop an indoor vaping ban!

(Concluded – Ordinance Passed)

(Update – 03.06.18)

On Monday, the Lafayette City Council voted to adopt the ordinance which bans vaping in the same places where smoking is prohibited. Although this concludes CASAA’s engagement on this ordinance, Lafayette residents are encouraged to continue voicing their opposition…


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WA – Stop vaping taxes!

HB 2165, which would add a 60% tax on the sale of vapor products, is moving quickly to the floor of the Washington House of Representatives. While most consumers will feel this increase in the form of a wholesale tax (paid by the distributor when they purchase products from manufacturers), consumers who shop online will, effectively, pay a 60% sales …

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