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Vape Flavor Bans, Rhode Island Reversal & more – Tobacco Harm Reduction News

Heads up Minnesota and Hempstead, New York! CASAA comments on shocker Cliff Douglas statement. Call to Action supporting Rhode Island lawmaker who reversed her stance on vaping. Repercussions of anti-vape policies. CASAA podcast on YouTube and more!

Scroll to the bottom of this post for a link to the audio version of this post!

CALL TO ACTION // Rhode Island Flavor Ban Repeal

Representative Julie Casimiro actually listened to adult vapers, visited a vape shop to see what they are buying, then introduced a bill to reverse flavor ban she once supported!

H5548 would repeal/end former Gov. Raimondo’s flavor ban! Click the link to read why CASAA supports (with a few caveats) this bill and what both consumers and businesses can do to help bring H5548 to a vote in the House!

TAKE ACTION: Rhode Island – End a Flavor Ban!

READ MORE: What Made This Rhode Island Legislator Change Her Mind About Vaping?

DO MORE: If you live in Rhode Island, join the CASAA Rhode Island Facebook Group

CALL TO ACTION // National “Vape Mail Ban”

Comment period is still open! Step 1) Submit your VAPE MAIL BAN comment to USPS then Step 2) Message Congress! CASAA not only made it easy, but also included FAQs about the law. Please SHARE this with your friends AND favorite vape retailers/manufacturers to share with their customers! (See new note above Action #2.)

casaa cta usps vape mail

TAKE ACTION: USPS – Vape Mail Ban Comment Period Is Open

DO MORE: The more official members CASAA has, the stronger we are together. If you haven’t yet officially joined CASAA, click here to Join Now for free!

UPDATE // Connecticut Flavor Ban

A flavor ban was passed by the Public Health Committee and will next move to the full House. An American Cancer Society rep claims “These products are not safe, and I think they are being directly marketed to kids through these flavors. Flavors are a marketing weapon that’s used by tobacco manufacturers to target youth to a lifetime of addiction,” despite the fact that most flavors are not made by tobacco companies, youth surveys show that the vast majority of youth who “try” vaping do not become “addicted” and it’s been shown that adults need flavors quit smoking!

CASAA will follow and update you as this bill moves on to the full House!

READ MORE: Public Health Committee passes legislation to ban all flavored tobacco products

DO MORE: If you live in Connecticut, join the CASAA Connecticut Facebook Group

HEADS UP! // Hempstead, New York

Town proposing ordinance § 121-3 (E), prohibiting stores that sell high risk cigarettes and very low risk vaping products within 1,000 feet from schools, parks and playgrounds to stop selling the “deadly” vapor products.

READ MORE:  Proposed Hempstead Town laws target youth vaping, e-cigarette use

DO MORE: If you live in New York, join the CASAA New York Facebook Group

HEADS UP! // Minnesota

Yet another tax hike bill, HF 1721, has been introduced and is moving through the House. It appears that the existing 95% wholesale nicotine/tobacco product tax would be raised to 97% and the definition now includes all devices and any substance that can be vaped!

Research does show increases can “help people quit,” but also show financial harm to low income adults who DON’T quit & a tax discouraging switching to vaping is unconscionable.

READ MORE:  Tobacco (and vape) tax increase moving forward in MN House

BILL TEXT: Minnesota bill HF 1721 as introduced

DO MORE: If you live in Minnesota, join the CASAA Minnesota Facebook Group

COMMENTARY // Public Health Fail

Read CASAA’s voice-of-the-consumer perspective on the recent open letter by Cliff Douglas, the latest veteran tobacco control leader saying he wants to see tobacco control and tobacco harm reduction advocates come together.

Instead of asking how we can bridge the divide between people who use low-risk nicotine products and public health activists, the real question is: how many more people does the community have to watch go back to smoking before our collective experience carries as much weight as Mr. Douglas’s?”

~ Alex Clark, CEO, The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association 

READ MORE: Veteran Tobacco Control Leader Issues Plea for Ceasefire Between Advocates


In a commentary for VTDigger, anti-vaping advocate Maria Davies wrote, “26% of high school students use e-cigarettes and almost a third use them daily, a sign of addiction.”

Note the use of “many” and “almost a third,” the  type of vague language commonly imployed by anti-vaping advocates, which seems to purposely obscure the fact that fewer than 8.5% of high school teens are vaping daily (ie. possibly addicted.) The majority of students fall under the category of trying “even 1 puff in past 30 days,” which is more indicative of expected “experimentation” of a novel adult product. Would “fewer than 8.5%” really be considered an “epidemic” level, especially if the vaping is displacing teen smoking?

While no one wants teens to vape (or smoke!) it’s important for the overall benefit of public health that adult access to vapor products is not limited due to misleading or sensationalist language that misrepresents true teen vaping behaviors.

READ MORE: Maria Davies: 26% of high school students use e-cigarettes, many every day

PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY // Consequences of “Well-meaning” Vape Bans and Taxes

“Sold in underground outlets and on third party e-commerce websites, counterfeit commodities fund smugglers and members of organized crime. Consumers often believe they are buying a genuine product…”

Those supporting ban and excessive taxes on vapor products would have the public believe that there is not a black market that will happily step in to fill the void of regulated products.

READ MORE: CBP Officers in Chicago Capture $1.5 Million in Counterfeit Vaping Pens

PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY // Exposing Anti-Vaping Bias

Youth most at risk of smoking–who have family members who smoke–are largely ignored in the war against youth vaping. Helping parents not smoke will have far greater impact on future smoking rates than taxes or flavor bans!

READ MORE: Hull dad switches to vapes to stop young son copying his smoking

PUBLIC HEALTH // Unhealthy Laws

While still trying to reduce the male smoking rate to 37.8% by 2025, the Thailand government is arresting people for selling low risk vapor products that help people quit smoking & most popular with men. (For comparison, adult male smoking in the UK, where vaping is encouraged, is less than 15.9%.)

READ MORE: Thai man in Pattaya arrested for allegedly selling e-cig vaping products

PUBLIC HEALTH // Exposing Anti-Vaping Lies

Yorkshire Cancer Research releases an informational video, “Vaping Demystified,” trying to correct the misinformation and misleading propaganda (coming mainly from US public health) about vapor products that’s causing too many people to go back to smoking.

READ MORE: Vaping Demystified – The Truth About Vaping

CASAA MEDIA // Podcast

Catch up on past tobacco harm reduction news with Alex and Logan on the CASAA podcasts on SoundCloud and now on YouTube. Watch for new episodes every Monday!