Call to Action update for Connecticut. LA and DC vapor flavor bans. Ocean City police violence. The far-reaching Bloomberg anti-tobacco money. Exposing anti-vaping bias. Bad public health policies doing harm and more!
Scroll to the bottom of this post for a link to the audio/video versions of this post!
CALL TO ACTION UPDATE // Connecticut
The anti-tobacco organizations are celebrating the defeat of a bill that banned flavored vapor products, saying better to “see no ban at all than the diluted version.” A major objection to the bill was that it would have exempted modified risk tobacco products (MRTP), which are products that deemed by the FDA as “expected to benefit the health of the population as a whole.” The bill had already been stripped of a ban on menthol cigarettes.
— Themateese (@TheMateese) June 16, 2021
DO MORE: If you live in Connecticut, join the CASAA Connecticut Facebook Group
UPDATE // Los Angeles Flavor Ban
While hookah advocates were able to win exemption, city leaders have yet to hear from vaping advocates in great numbers. LA vapers may soon be facing a devastating flavor ban unless they stand up for themselves to stop the insanity!
@LACityCouncil needs to read this. Why do they want to increase teen smoking in #LosAngeles with a counterproductive flavor ban? SF already proved it creates more teen smokers and keeps adult smokers from quitting. #SmokingKills but #VapingSavesLives. https://t.co/SSLDD2yyjy
— David P Forsyth (@DavidPForsyth) June 17, 2021
HEADS UP! // Washington, D.C. Flavor Ban
A flavor ban (with an exemption for hookah bars) has passed the first hurdle. The proposal, like so many others, is based on false narratives that vape flavors only exist so Big Tobacco can “hook kids” and teens experimenting with vaping is the same thing as teen smoking. The ban must have a second vote by the council and the mayor’s signature before it is final.
— ATR (@taxreformer) June 18, 2021
COMMENTARY // Consequences of Bad Policy
Recent events in Ocean City, Maryland highlight that, rather than supporting healthy communities, public bans are often used as legal pathways for law enforcement harassment of citizens from certain racial and economic backgrounds.
Recognition by governments that the Drug War–including the war on nicotine–is built on racism, classism, and silencing political dissent, not protecting or improving public health, is overdue. Further delay in re-examining such dangerous laws will encourage more instances of violent police intervention resulting in unnecessary injury or early death.”
COMMENTARY // Flavor Bans
.@dianemgoldstein says, "…from years of experience with similar legislation, we know that such bans create racially disparate outcomes, tensions in the community, and, ironically, the boom of illegal markets that make it easier for kids to buy tobacco." https://t.co/HgmxFSRNz2
— The Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) (@PoliceForReform) June 14, 2021
PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY // Sin Taxes – Do No Harm?
The combination of high taxes (that inspire few people to quit smoking) and the lack of affordable, safer alternatives (which have been targets for tax “parity”) is putting many already below poverty level at greater risk of malnutrition and smoking-related diseases.
— B Fojtik (@PositiveEnerG) June 18, 2021
PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY // Exposing Anti-Nicotine Bias
Maine legislature votes to decriminalize possession of all currently illicit drugs (instead resulting in a $100 fine,) as they consider EXPANDING the drug war by banning sale of low risk nicotine flavors that are helping adults quit smoking (risking up to a $5,000 fine.)
Cool, Maine. Maybe you could also NOT vote to expand the drug war to include flavored safer nicotine products.
— Alex Clark (@Hello_Alex) June 18, 2021
MAINE: (CALL TO ACTION REMINDER) LD 1550 is a FULL flavor ban that includes mint, menthol, and wintergreen. CASAA expects this bill to soon move out of the Joint Committee on Health and Human Services to the full House of Representatives!https://t.co/P0qPVwzA90
— CASAA (@CASAAmedia) May 27, 2021
TAKE ACTION: Maine – Stop a Flavor Ban
DO MORE: If you live in Maine, join the CASAA Maine Facebook Group
PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY // Bad For Public Health
Lawmakers in the Northern Mariana Islands (a U.S. commonwealth where 1 in 4 adults still smoke) have levied a 75% tax on low risk vapor & tobacco products–despite evidence that such actions have caused increases in black market activity and smoking.
[Top Stories] CNMI raises cigarette tax from $1.75 to $2 a pack: Cigarettes in the Northern Mariana Islands will b… http://bit.ly/9YPhYr
— Pacific Daily News (@guamnews_pdn) October 8, 2010
READ MORE: House passes tobacco tax hike
PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY: Flavor Hysteria
A New Hampshire man is also caught with 750 pounds of marijuana and 200 cases of illicit THC products, but Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey seems to be the most proud of preventing the “dangerous, addictive and particularly appealing to young people” flavored nicotine vapor products from hitting the streets.
E-Cig Flavor Ban Grows $10 Billion Massachusetts Black Market https://t.co/IfpOVUzBTe
— Phil (@phil_w888) July 2, 2020
THE MORE YOU KNOW // Exposing Anti-Tobacco Tactics
Michelle Minton, writing for CEI, reveals the true extent of the backroom manipulations by Bloomberg and Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids “imposing its will on the developing world.”
“CTFK generates what appears like an organic consensus—a cacophony of ostensibly independent voices all clamoring for the same tobacco control policies. In reality, it is a highly synchronized chorus of interdependent interests, coordinated from afar.“
Leaked documents from Bloomberg's anti-tobacco mafia show how much they interfere in low- and middle-income nations. All to win political battles, with little interest in how it affects the health or empowerment of the people who live there https://t.co/sWs1gT79Mr
— michelleminton (@michelleminton) June 15, 2021
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 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.