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Heads Up – News – Updates 2.9.19 – 2.15.2019

Tobacco harm reduction news for February 9th-15th, 2019. Anti-harm reduction laws in South Carolina, West Virginia, Minnesota, Ohio, Utah, Virginia, Massachusetts, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Illinois, New Jersey, Arkansas. Commentaries support tobacco harm reduction. CASAA testifies to FDA about modified risk tobacco products.

WEST VIRGINIA: (HEADS UP!) Committee passes bill that would deny adult #smoker and #vapers 18-20 access to much safer alternative #vaping products to “protect youth,” but they admit “our 18- to 21-year-olds actually purchase a small amount of tobacco.”

Senate bill would raise tobacco-use age to 21

MINNESOTA: (UPDATE) Bills pass in committee that would deny adult #smokers & #vapers 18-20 access to much safer #vaping products (even though 18-24 smoking dropped 50% since 2014) & prohibit business owners from allowing vaping in their establishments. 

Bills to curb smoking pass MN House Committee, including Tobacco 21

OPINION: (American Council on Science and Health) CDC Misleads By Calling E-Cigarettes A ‘Tobacco Product’

Note: While High School smoking is INSIGNIFICANTLY up in 2018 (after CDC/FDA warnings about vaping seemed to increase interest?) it’s still down from 22.5% pre-vaping in 2002 to just 8.1% in 2018.

CDC Misleads by Calling E-Cigarettes a ‘Tobacco Product’

HUDSON, OHIO: (UPDATE) Council wisely REJECTS law that would have denied adult #smokers and #vapers access to much safer alternative #vaping and #smokefree products.

Hudson rejects Tobacco 21 measure

LEHI, UTAH: (UPDATE) City is first in state to unwisely deny adult #smokers & #vapers 18-20 access to much safer alternative #vaping & #smokefree products.

Lehi becomes first Utah city to raise legal tobacco age to 21. It may not be the last.

VIRGINIA: (UPDATE) “Veto proof margins” anti-harm reduction bill denying adult #smokers and #vapers 18-20 access to much safer alternative #vaping and #smokefree products heading to desk of Gov. Ralph Northam.

Virginia will raise age for buying tobacco, e-cigarettes to 21

UTAH: (HEADS UP!) HB 252 & HB 327 anti-harm reduction laws would deny adult #smokers & #vapers 18-20 access to much safer alternative #vaping & #smokeless products & increase tax on #vaping products to 86.5% like tobacco. 

House Bills propose higher taxes on e-cigs and vape products, raising legal age to buy tobacco products

BERKSHIRE COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS: (HEADS UP!) Tri-Town Board of Health looking to pass anti-harm reduction ban on flavored #vaping & #smokefree products, removing very important feature that helps adult #smokers quit.

Photo Credit: Berkshire Record

Tri-Town Health Board sets its sights on flavored tobacco – Berkshire Record

APPLETON, WISCONSIN: (UPDATE) #Vape shop owners convince Board of Health to exclude shops from indoor #vaping ban (but may just be grandfathered, so fight not over.) Still would prohibit other businesses from allowing vaping. March BOH meeting, then to full Council.

Appleton vape shop owners compromise with city officials on proposed workplace vaping ban

IN THE NEWS: (FLORIDA) Not enough that voters approved Amendment 9 (banning offshore drilling & indoor #vaping), ANTZ push lawmakers to reclassify vapor products as #tobacco, so they can regulate & tax even more. Except that isn’t what voters agreed to do.

COMMENTARY: (SALLY SATEL @slsatel – WALL STREET JOURNAL) Vaping Is Harm Reduction – The surgeon general is right on opioids, but wrong on tobacco. 

“Dr. Adams should embrace harm reduction as boldly for nicotine addicts as he does for opioid users.”

IN THE NEWS: (MADISON, WISCONSIN) Lawmakers claim law needed because “even if the devices don’t contain tobacco using them will lead to tobacco use.” Except vaping liquid NEVER contains tobacco & NO EVIDENCE nicotine-free liquid leads to tobacco use.

COMMENTARY: (GUY BENTLEY @gbentley1) “…FDA is planning a massive regulatory onslaught against products that are significantly safer than cigarettes based on an unproven hypothesis and an alleged gateway that is as poorly defined as it is elusive.”

IN THE NEWS: Researchers Try Nicotine To Treat Memory Loss:
“It’s been known for some time that nicotine itself could have beneficial effects in even reducing diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.” – Dr. Sudha Seshadri, director of UT Health San Antonio’s Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases.

HARDIN COUNTY, KENTUCKY: (HEADS UP!) Anti-harm reduction law would deny adult #smokers & #vapers access to much safer alternative #vaping & #smokefree products.

PONCHATOULA, LOUISIANA: (UPDATE) Anti-harm reduction law prohibits #vaping indoors, despite lacking any evidence of harm to bystanders from vapor, removing yet another incentive for adult #smokers to switch to a far safer alternative.

SUMMERVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA: (UPDATE) Council wisely votes against anti-harm reduction law that would have prohibited #vaping OUTDOORS in parks and at events, Councilman Walter Bailey “argued that vaping isn’t known to have the same negative effects .”

IN THE NEWS: (OAK FOREST, ILLINOIS) To justify fairly reasonable ordinance banning sales to minors, Police Chief Timothy Kristin makes shockingly unscientific and disproven claim that “ingesting nicotine” is “what is bad about smoking cigarettes.”

WEST WINDSOR, NEW JERSEY: (HEADS UP!) Anti-harm reduction law would license stores but BAN #VAPE SHOPS. Health officer Jill Swanson conflates “pure nicotine” with e-liquid, stating “one drop” on skin can “kill an adult.” Public hearing Tues. Feb. 19th!

ARKANSAS: (HEADS UP!) House Bill 1442 would add a 10¢ tax on #vaping products, plus sales tax, to fund a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center in the state. Ironically increasing the cost a product that could actually help lower cancer rates.

IN THE NEWS: CASAA CEO Alex Clark Speaks in Support of Modified Risk Tobacco Products at FDA

If you’re on Facebook, please be sure to join your CASAA state group: – The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association