Calls to Action for Minnesota and Missouri. Public Health behaving badly. Vaping junk science, CASAA in Action, commentary on nicotine limits and more!
Scroll to the bottom of this post for a link to the audio/video versions of this post!
CALL TO ACTION // Missouri Update
Committee on Downsizing State Government voted 9-4 “Do Pass” w/ amendment preempting existing smoking and #vaping bans. See CASAA link below for next steps you can take to support HB 517!
READ MORE: Missouri – Stop the Local Assault on Safer Nicotine Products
DO MORE: If you live in Missouri, join the CASAA Missouri Facebook Group
CALL TO ACTION // Minnesota Update
Vapor Taxes are being included in the state omnibus budget bill. The proposal is to expand the existing 95% e-liquid tax with a 95% wholesale tax on devices! Taxes Committee meetings were held on April 22nd and April 23rd!
READ MORE: Minnesota – Keep Vapor Taxes Out of the Budget!
DO MORE: If you live in Minnesota, join the CASAA Minnesota Facebook Group
HEADS UP // Indiana Update
The budget bill passed April 22nd including a 25% tax on closed systems and 15% on open systems, without hearing any public input! Outrageously, the Chamber of Commerce not only supported the tax, but had pushed for the higher taxes that passed!
What a disgraceful organization. Year after year, you've utterly failed in your goal of raising cigarette taxes, so you fell back on taxing products that are helping adult smokers quit.
Chamber of Commerce stands up for big business; small business not so much. #INLegis https://t.co/jNQbIR4h83
— Gregory Conley (@GregTHR) April 21, 2021
READ MORE: Indiana Passes a Vaping Tax Without Public Input
DO MORE: If you live in Indiana, join the CASAA Indiana Facebook Group
UPDATE // Loveland, Colorado
Flavor ban fails to pass, with councilor Kathi Wright saying, “… what rose to the top for me was individual liberty and responsibility. I don’t think we have the right to take this away from law-abiding adults.”
Really good series of letters to the editor before Loveland, Colorado's proposed flavor ban… https://t.co/P5wC9Xszz1
— Lindsey Stroud (@lmstroud89) April 18, 2021
READ MORE: Loveland Council nixes flavor ban from anti-youth vaping law
RESEARCH // Vaping Junk Science
West Virginia University researchers blame “volatile organic compounds” in nicotine e-cigarettes for EVALI, despite the fact that the majority of their patients tested positive for THC and other illicit drugs. Apparently, they didn’t bother to check with the CDC, as there is zero mention of vitamin E acetate!
Bogus report based on 17 EVALI patients from Aug.'19 – March '20. CDC concluded that the misnamed EVALI outbreak is linked to adulterated THC vaping oil, not ENDS e-cigarettes. Those illegal products were more or less cleared from the black market & EVALI disappeared.
— David P Forsyth (@DavidPForsyth) April 20, 2021
READ MORE: E-cigarette users in rural Appalachia develop more severe lung injuries
CASAA IN ACTION // Alex Clark
Watch Christopher Balkaran interview CASAA CEO Alex Clark about harm reduction and public policy on the Strong and Free podcast!
COMMENTARY // Eric BOEHM, Reason Magazine
The FDA’s War on Nicotine Will Encourage Americans To Smoke More Cigarettes – America’s public health officials continue to undermine public health.
“In 2004, the tiny nation of Bhutan banned the sale and consumption of tobacco products. The ban triggered the creation of a robust black market for cigarettes, and by 2017 Bhutan had the highest smoking rate of any country in Asia….”
But the idea of limiting the amount of nicotine in cigarettes actually originated, the Journal notes, during the tenure of Scott Gottlieb, the first FDA commissioner of the Trump administration. It seems that changing the occupant of the White House won’t stop the FDA from pursuing counterproductive, nanny state policies. Maybe we should just abolish the FDA instead.”
~ Eric Boehm
READ MORE: The FDA’s War on Nicotine…
PUBLIC HEALTH // Bad for Public Health
On its face, lowering nicotine levels to non-addictive levels/banning menthol may seem well-meaning, but not only is it unproven, it’s discriminatory. It will also undoubtedly lead to a push to do the same with low risk nicotine products!
"The FDA’s plan seeks to lower the nicotine content of /all cigarettes/ to a “minimally or non-addictive” level."
"Hello #BlackMarket operators! Here's a huge boost for your operations. Umm.. you won't sell to 'kids' .. right?"
— Andrew Thompson (@vaper_the) April 9, 2021
READ MORE: Feds May Reduce Nicotine Allowed in Cigarettes
PUBLIC HEALTH: Exposing Anti-Vaping Bias
This is confirmation bias in action. Headline reads “Smoking is a choice,” but article states “Nicotine is a highly addictive” and “Adolescents…have a higher risk of addiction to nicotine.” How is it “a choice” when they know most people start as adolescents?
READ MORE: Annette Haining wants to help you quit – smoking that is. “Smoking is a choice. Breathing is not.”
PUBLIC HEALTH: Public Health Circus
While some lawmakers are demanding FDA lower nicotine levels in cigarettes to push people to use lower risk products (or quit), other lawmakers are trying to make those lower risk products for adults expensive, boring and unpalatable.
High school smoking rate has fallen to 4.6%, according to @TobaccoFreeKids. https://t.co/5RIF0PrGc2 But Senator @RonWyden says: “Highly-addictive e-cigarettes … provide an on-ramp for young people to start smoking tobacco cigarettes." https://t.co/9JvDkAR8Eg I don't understand.
— Cliff Douglas (@cdoug) April 23, 2021
READ MORE: Durbin, Wyden, Krishnamoorthi, Colleagues Introduce Bicameral Bill To Reduce Tobacco Use In America
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.