News Nation’s Chris Cuomo joins forces with PAVe in his misguided anti-vaping crusade. Wall Street Journal resurrects debunked paper. FDA downplays modified risk product authorization. CDC lays ground for reducing nicotine in vapes. Tobacco and nicotine consumers in Virginia may get insurance break. Calls to Action and more!
Scroll to the bottom of this post for a link to the audio/video versions of this post!
CALL TO ACTION // Oregon Flavor Ban
HB 3090 has been scheduled for a HEARING before the House Committee on Behavioral Health and Health Care on MARCH 21st at 5 PM.
TAKE ACTION NOW and then follow this CTA for more updates!
TAKE ACTION: Stop the Oregon Flavor Ban
CALL TO ACTION // Idaho Vape Tax
Lawmakers seemed to have quickly scheduled a PUBLIC HEARING for 8:30 AM on March 17th (House Revenue and Taxation Committee) to prevent any public opposition to a possible 40% tax on vapor products, but that won’t stop us!
TAKE ACTION NOW and follow this CTA for updates!
TAKE ACTION: Idaho – Stop a Vape Tax!
CALL TO ACTION // New York Flavor Ban
Governor Kathy Hochuk is proposing to ban flavors even for the few, far safer tobacco and nicotine alternatives to smoking that are still legally available for sale in NY. This isn’t just a ban on menthol cigarettes! She’s also proposing another tax hike!
TAKE ACTION: New York – Stop a Flavor Ban!
CALL TO ACTION // Minnesota Flavor Ban
SF2123 was ultimately passed and referred to the Senate State and Local Government and Veterans Committee. The House companion bill, HF 2177 (Rep. Ethan Cha, DFL-Woodbury) has yet to be scheduled for a hearing.
TAKE ACTION: Minnesota – Stop a Flavor Ban!
CALL TO ACTION // Nebraska Vapor Tax
LB 584, a 5c/mL tax on e-liquid scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday, was pulled from the agenda, potentially for changes that may include a 20% wholesale tax which could mean a price increase from the original 5c/mL.
TAKE ACTION: Nebraska – Stop a Vapor Tax
CALL TO ACTION // Maryland Flavor Ban
SB 259 requires low risk, smoke-free alternatives–products used by millions of adults to quit/avoid smoking–to be flavored like tobacco, prohibiting even FDA-authorized flavors.
A hearing was held on Thursday, February 16, 2023 at 1 PM.
TAKE ACTION: Stop the Maryland Flavor Ban
CALL TO ACTION // Hawai’i Vape Tax
HB 537 would subject vapor products to the state’s 70% tobacco tax.
Hawai’ians are encouraged to TAKE ACTION NOW!
TAKE ACTION: Stop the Hawai’i Vape Tax
CALL TO ACTION UPDATE // Hawai’i Flavor Ban
HB 551 will dangerously take away all non-tobacco flavors (including 0 mg vapes) from legal adults–many who use flavored low risk products to avoid relapsing to smoking!
TAKE ACTION: Stop the Hawai’i Flavor Ban
CALL TO ACTION // Connecticut Flavor Ban
HB 6488 would force adults who have switched to pleasant-tasting, low risk alternatives to smoking to go back to products that taste like tobacco or menthol. This bill already had one hearing on February 1st, 2023.
TAKE ACTION: Stop the Connecticut Flavor Ban
CALL TO ACTION // New Mexico Flavor Ban
HB 94 had a hearing in the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee. If you live in New Mexico, please click the link below and TAKE ACTION NOW!
TAKE ACTION: Stop the New Mexico Flavor Ban
HEADS UP! // Illinois Public Vaping Ban
If you’re trying to reduce smoking harms, you don’t lie (ie. claiming vaping is a risk to bystanders) to take away important incentives for people who smoke to switch to far safer alternatives. Businesses should be able to choose!
READ MORE: Lawmaker Pushes to Ban Vaping Indoors
In The Media // Cuomo’s Crusade
With “help” from PAVe mom Dorian Fuhrman, who baselessly claims that this is “a generation that would not have smoked cigarettes” before the advent of vapor products, NewsNation’s Chris Cuomo continues his misguided and misinformed crusade against vaping.
In reality, vaping appears to have accelerated the decline in teen smoking and even the FDA no longer calls it an “epidemic.” The claim “Nicotine harms adolescent brains” is based only on rat studies and “May be more likely to smoke in the future” is highly likely to just be a common liability. Common liability (also known as shared risk) in this case means that people who are already likely to smoke are also more likely to try vaping and other high risk behaviors.
READ MORE: Is vaping making your kid a lifelong addict?
IN THE MEDIA // Beating a Dead…Paper
The Wall Street Journal inexplicably resurrects an unpublished paper that was already thoroughly debunked by Sinclair Davidson as very likely “based on a spurious regression.” Put very simply, that means they created a misleading correlation between two unrelated things.
Have you seen this piece? Sounded a bit whacky from the get-go to me, and as it turns out, my gut feeling was right. @SincDavidson debunked it brilliantly here: https://t.co/2ardvvX3Hu
Here is a "short" best of 🧵 pic.twitter.com/7B6P03bJuv
— Michael Landl (@LandlMichael) December 20, 2022
READ MORE: A Critique of ‘Can Anti-vaping Policies Curb Drinking Externalities?” Evidence From E-Cigarette Taxation and Traffic Fatalities’
FDA // Downplaying the Benefits
Authorization as a “modified risk” tobacco product means the product is not only “appropriate for the protection of public health,” but also “expected to benefit the health of the population as a whole.”
But could the public be expected to understand that from this FDA Tobacco tweet thread? The agency not only says absolutely nothing about how modified risk tobacco products have been through a rigorous scientific evaluation to prove they reduce harm or the risk of smoking-related disease, it seems more concerned–even hopeful–about explaining how the product could lose authorization.
Today, FDA issued a modified risk granted order to U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company for Copenhagen Classic Snuff, authorizing the company to market the product with specific reduced risk information.
This does not mean the product is safe or “FDA approved.” https://t.co/RQWgD07kJv pic.twitter.com/9Fl32sIxQt
— FDA Tobacco (@FDATobacco) March 16, 2023
MORE INFO: FDA Modified Risk Tobacco Products
CDC // Nicotine Claims Antithetical to Science
“MAY help?” So, will CDC Tobacco Free actually do the research to ensure the science supports that it definitely will? Because the FDA intends to reduce nicotine in cigarettes, so also making safer alternatives to smoking less effective would be disastrous for public health!
Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addictive. Putting maximum limits on the nicotine strength of e-cigarettes, along with evidence-based tobacco control strategies, may help reduce youth e-cigarette use and increase quitting among adults. https://t.co/SQdkt1PPCP pic.twitter.com/fpd3uATO46
— CDC Tobacco Free (@CDCTobaccoFree) March 17, 2023
Research // CDC Adult Vaping Report
Last week, the CDC finally released a report and chart on adult vaping for 2021, but failed to give it any kind of context. We added the CDC “total” data section of the chart to a graph showing the adult smoking vs vaping trend since 2001, which reveals the big picture.
Importantly, as vaping increased, smoking continued to decline dramatically. Additionally, nearly half of the adults who vape no longer smoke. Finally, only a tiny percentage of adults vape without having smoked–many of whom may have smoked without vaping as an alternative.
READ MORE: QuickStats: Percentage Distribution* of Cigarette Smoking Status† Among Current Adult E-Cigarette Users
PUBLIC POLICY // Ending the Health Insurance Tobacco Surcharge
Analysts say the strategy has backfired, because the surcharge discourages many tobacco users, especially those who are low-income, from buying health insurance at all.
“Tobacco users tend to have lower incomes, which is often a barrier to coverage,” said Barber, president-elect of the Virginia Public Health Association. “Charging them more to access the care they need…is harmful and inequitable.”
More states should follow Governor Younkin’s example and eliminate this harmful practice!
HB 1375 + 1011 to bar health insurance providers from charging more in premiums based on a customer's tobacco use are awaiting Gov Youngkin's approval. Lung Association supports the bills, arguing that surcharges are ineffective at curbing #tobaccouse. https://t.co/l6U1NlJIIW
— Americanlungva (@AmericanLungVA) February 22, 2023
READ MORE: Youngkin says he will sign legislation ending higher insurance premiums for tobacco users
TESTIMONIAL // Anecdote # 13,512
Mr. Miller switched to vaping and saw his health improve dramatically. He no longer suffers from COPD and his doctors told him they can’t even tell he ever smoked!
What’s YOUR real story? Submit your testimonial today!
SUBMIT YOUR STORY: CASAA Testimonial Project
CASAA MEDIA // Spotify
CASAA’s podcast is on Spotify! Please give us a follow here:
CASAA IN ACTION // Twitter Spaces
The week we recap the Reagan-Udall sessions with Amanda Wheeler, Tim Andrews and CASAA CEO Alex Clark, who all presented to the panel about FDA’s issues regulating reduced-harm products. What grade would you give FDA? Also available on CASAA’s Spotify channel (above.)
— CASAA (@CASAAmedia) October 26, 2022
CASAA IN ACTION // CASAA Live
If you missed the most recent CASAA Live show, check out the replay now! CASAA Live is on alternating Saturdays at 4:30 PM ET/3:30 PM CT/2:30 PM MT/1:30 PM PT on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter!
If you missed the last CASAA Live episode you can catch up NOW before the next show!
On this past week’s episode, we had special guest Annie Kleykamp, a scientist and harm reduction advocate committed to “removing the barriers that separate the public from health research and policy.” She discussed with us how to discover if studies being reported by the media (and sometimes by the researchers themselves) are being misrepresented as finding “causation” when they really only found a “correlation.”
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 STORE // Apparel and More
Show your support by shopping our store! Our president (and brilliant website/swag designer) Danielle has added some awesome new designs to CASAA’s apparel shop!
VISIT: CASAA Apparel and Swag Store
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.