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Vaping Advocates Protest in Utah and More! Tobacco Harm Reduction News

Vaping advocates protest PMTA bill in Utah. Another study finds vaping is safer than smoking. Reporter scaremongers in Georgia. CASAA gets quoted. Questionable study about menthol bans. Multiple Calls to Action and much more!

Scroll to the bottom of this post for a link to the audio/video versions of this post!


CALLS TO ACTION

WYOMING

There was already a hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 21st!

SF 107 would put independent vape shops out of business, hundreds of workers out of jobs, and thousands of people at risk of returning to smoking, or delaying attempts at quitting!

TAKE ACTION: Wyoming: Stop a Big Tobacco Protection Bill!

 

MISSISSIPPI

SB 2441 would put independent vape shops out of business, hundreds of workers out of jobs, and thousands of people at risk of returning to smoking, or delaying attempts at quitting.

TAKE ACTION: Mississippi: Stop a Big Tobacco Protection Bill!

 

IOWA

SB 3101 (a PMTA bill) already had a hearing on Wednesday, February 21st!

Please take a minute to send an email to or call your state senator urging them to oppose SB 3101!

TAKE ACTION: Iowa: Stop a Big Tobacco Protection Bill!

 

IDAHO

S.1366 would put independent vape shops out of business, hundreds of workers out of jobs, and thousands of people at risk of returning to smoking, or delaying attempts at quitting.

Please urge your lawmakers to oppose S.1366!

TAKE ACTION: Idaho: Stop a Big Tobacco Protection Bill!

 

FLORIDA

⚠️URGENT⚠️ There is a HEARING on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 at 9:00 AM!

We strongly encourage Florida vapers to SIGN UP TO SPEAK at this hearing. This could be your LAST CHANCE to stop the loss of access to thousands of vape products!

TAKE ACTION: Florida: Stop a Big Tobacco Protection Bill!

 

GEORGIA

⚠️URGENT⚠️ There is a HEARING scheduled for Monday, February 26 at 2:00 PM!

HB 1260 would put independent vape shops out of business and severely reduce access to thousands of vape products people depend on!

TAKE ACTION: Georgia: Stop a Big Tobacco Protection Bill!

 

SOUTH CAROLINA
⚠️UPDATE⚠️ There is a HEARING scheduled for Thursday, February 29th at 9:00 AM!
🛑South Carolina only allows spoken comments on bills at the subcommittee level, so it’s important to SUBMIT WRITTEN COMMENTS!

 

VIRGINIA

⚠️URGENT⚠️ There is a Senate HEARING SCHEDULED for SB 550/HB 1069 on Monday, February 26th at 15 minutes after adjournment!

Unless you want to only have access to Big Tobacco vapes in your state, take action NOW!

TAKE ACTION: Virginia: Stop the Joe Camel Protection Act!


RESEARCH

Asking “WHY Are Youth Vaping?” Is Important

This study finds that adolescents and young adults who experience major depressive episodes or have cognitive disabilities are at higher risk of vaping.

In other words, they’re “self-medicating.” So if safer-than-smoking vapor products are banned then what will they use?

Bans only address the what instead of the far more important why. If we address the why (youth mental health crisis) instead of only addressing the what (by banning products shown to reduce health risks for adults who would otherwise be smoking) that will be win-win for public health! Youth would get the mental health treatments they so desperately need instead of turning to increasingly more dangerous substances, and millions of adults who smoke will continue to have access to low risk alternatives and avoid smoking-related diseases and death.

READ MORE: New study of adolescents and young adults reveals that cognitive disabilities and major depressive episodes increase the risk of nicotine vaping

 

Study Claims Menthol Bans Help People Quit Smoking

A co-author of this study told readers, “Contrary to claims by the tobacco industry, we did not see an increase in the use of illicit products.

However, the review also states that 25% of people “found a way to continue smoking menthols.” What “way” did they find, exactly? Possibly the illicit market?

On another note, only the abstract was available at the time of this blog post, which makes no mention of the racial breakdown of the 25% who quit. This is interesting because one of the main arguments given for a menthol ban is “racial disparity.”

Also an important question: Do the people who continue to expose themselves to deadly smoke because they don’t quit until “after a year or two” actually stay quit after that? Most people make several attempts at quitting, but fewer than 8% succeed. Of those, many relapse months and even years later.

READ MORE: A quarter of smokers quit within a year or two of menthol bans, researchers find

 

Another Study Finds Vaping Is Safer

A new study has “significant” observation “suggesting that e-cigarettes might present a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes.”

The authors express concern about possible adverse effects from PG/VG (ie. “solvents”) and certain flavors, seemingly with the unrealistic goal of making vaping 100% safe. However, these concerns really should be weighed against the far more serious adverse effects of people continuing to smoke.

READ MORE: Multidimensional assessment of the biological effects of electronic cigarettes on lung bronchial epithelial cells

 

CASAA IN ACTION

CASAA Live Short

CASAA Vice President Logan Evans on Senator Chuck Schumer’s baseless attempt to start a new “war” on nicotine pouches.

 

CASAA Gets quoted in Oklahoma

Alex Clark, CEO of the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, is following PMTA registry or vapor product directory bills in more than a dozen states, including Oklahoma. He said the Sooner State’s situation is similar to Alabama, where a vapor product directory exists, but there’s no funding for enforcement and the agency tasked to oversee it hasn’t effectively done their job.

 

 

“It’s going to be leaving it up to the discretion of the state’s attorney general, as to who they’re going to go after,” Clark said. “Which, you know, if that’s a handshake agreement that the legislature wants to sign the citizens up for, by all means, but I don’t think that’s the most effective way to ensure that we are reducing the harm of combustible tobacco.”

 

 

According to the CASAA website, HB 3971 would put independent vape shops out of business and render hundreds of workers jobless.”

READ MORE: Vaping industry worries about oversight from Oklahoma AG’s office

TAKE ACTION: Oklahoma: Stop a Big Tobacco Protection Bill!

 

IN THE NEWS

Scaremongering and Misinformation

The author first highlights scary “vaping” stories apparently involving illicit THC vapes that have nothing to do with the flavored NICOTINE vapes she seemingly wants banned. But that’s not all.”

 

She then claims that flavored vapes “make up the most common category of substance use among middle and high school students across the state – more than alcohol, leaf tobacco or other drugs.”

 

However, the 2023 GA Student Survey shows 6.4% of the respondents consumed alcohol in the past 30 days vs 6.2% of them vaping. It’s possible she mistook the % of students who vape who use flavors as the % of ALL students? That would be an alarming mistake for a professional journalist.

 

Then, based primarily on the alarming stories of illicit THC vapes, she calls for FDA “to step up its review of e-cigarettes coming to market and its efforts to remove illegal and unauthorized products that are already on the market.”

 

But how would FDA actions against flavored NICOTINE e-cigarettes have ANY effect on the illicit THC vape market that is causing the actual harm to youth? FDA doesn’t regulate THC, let alone illicit THC vapes.

 

Make it make sense.

 

Finally, she sneers at opponents to the recently introduced “PMTA bill” who correctly state that it would “put independent vape shops out of business, force people to return to combustible cigarettes or prevent cigarette smokers from quitting.”

 

That, she says, “sounds like they’re just blowing smoke.” (As if we haven’t heard that play on words before.)

 

But has she spoken to any vapers or vape shop owners?

 

Is she aware that these PMTA bills are being pushed by big tobacco companies and they would benefit most from them?

 

Apparently not.

READ MORE: Efforts to stem youth vaping are going up in smoke

 

ADVOCACY

Vaping Advocates Protest PMTA Bill in Utah

Dozens of vaping advocates showed up at the Utah capitol to protest SB 61 (a “Big Tobacco Protection” bill.)

Dave Davis, president of the Utah Retail Merchants Association claimed, “It basically just levels the playing field between your general retailers and your tobacco specialty shops. Everyone will be selling the same product. If you have a business model that’s built on Captain Crunch and bubblegum, then maybe you have to reevaluate the business model.”

No, sir, it “basically just” eliminates your competition, because the fact that convenience stores sell a lot of products other than e-cigarettes means they can easily survive a dramatic reduction in vapor product inventory.

READ MORE: ‘We vape, we vote’: Vape shops ask lawmakers not to ban sale of flavored vapes

TAKE ACTION: UTAH: Stop a Big Tobacco Protection Bill!

 

INDUSTRY

Will FDA Authorize These Flavors?

Altria is finalizing submissions to FDA “to sell NJOY vape products in blueberry and watermelon flavors” and “plans to employ a Bluetooth technology that will prevent underage use.”

READ MORE: COMPANY NEWS News Wire Feb 21, 2024 Altria Plans New Blueberry Vape Products — and Will Keep Them Away From Kids

ADVOCACY

Adult Vaper Survey

Q. I don’t have a lot of time or money, but how can I still advocate for #vaping and tobacco harm reduction? 🤔

A. One QUICK and FREE way to advocate right now is to complete this survey! 👇👇👇

Click here: USA – Vape Consumer Survey 2023

 


CASAA IN ACTION // CASAA Live

This week on CASAA Live, join Alex and Logan as they explain the new controversy surrounding nicotine pouches; the political fall-out and the science behind these harm reduction products!

Catch the next show LIVE Saturday, February 24, 2024 at 4:30PM ET/3:30PM CT!

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 // 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 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.

SoundCloud: