Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Vermont Governor Vetoes Vaping Bill and More! Tobacco Harm Reduction News

Governor Phil Scott vetoed a bill that would have banned vaping flavors. Ohio health director “blames” Big Tobacco for more people vaping instead of smoking. USA Today lies about “second-hand” vapor. Virginia Lawmakers clueless about FDA actions on vaping. Maryland lawmakers sneak vape tax into budget and more!

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


CALLS TO ACTION

Below are the new and updated Calls to Action for this past week. To view all of the current Calls to Action, scroll down to “More Calls to Action” below. To view the current hearing events schedule (Facebook,) click the box on the right.

COLORADO

HB 1356, which would remove thousands of products from vape shop shelves in the state, has been referred to the House Committee on Business Affairs & Labor.

TAKE ACTION: Colorado: Stop a Sales Ban!

 

IOWA

⚠️UPDATE⚠️

The focus of this CTA is now on SF 2402, which is moving quickly in the Senate! This bill would deny adults access to thousands of lower risk #vaping products, shut down small businesses and take away hundreds of jobs!

TAKE ACTION: Iowa: Stop a Sales Ban!

 

VERMONT 

⚠️UPDATE⚠️

Governor Phil Scott vetoed S 18, which would have deprived adults who vape/smoke access to thousands of reduced harm products, shut down many small businesses and leave hundreds of hard-working people jobless!

Some key quotes from Governor Scott’s veto statement:

“I too feel we have an obligation to protect our children, but it must be balanced in such a way that we honor the rights and freedoms of adults to make decisions about their individual lives.”

“From my perspective, this bill is inconsistent with other laws related to legal substance use.” (ie. flavored cannabis, alcohol)

“People lose faith in government when policies have these types of inconsistencies, because they contradict common sense.”

“I’m not convinced the in-state prohibition of flavored tobacco, e-liquids and tobacco substitutes only, is justified when sales will remain online, and when State law plainly encourages sales of other unhealthy adult products to continue.”

In response, the American Heart Association representative in Vermont, Tina Zuk, lied about the veto when she said middle school kids “are the largest growing group of vape users.” The most recent data (2021) shows 16% of VT high school students vape vs. only 5% in middle school.

Ms. Zuk also claimed “There is no legal substance that is more addictive and enticing to kids than nicotine.” Yet 5% of middle school teens drank alcohol, which is both addictive and causes thousands of deaths annually. No teen deaths have ever been conclusively linked to nicotine vaping!

The legislature still has an opportunity to override the veto, so watch our Call to Action for possible future updates!

CALL TO ACTION: Vermont: Stop a Flavor Ban Veto Override!

 

 

HEADS UP! ILLINOIS

State lawmakers are pushing a bill that “would prohibit e-cigarettes from being purchased remotely by anyone other than a distributor or seller.” This would mean adults could no longer purchase legal products online. It could especially impact adults in several Illinois municipalities with flavor bans, including Chicago, where 133,000 adults report using vapor products and a flavor ban has been in effect since 2020.

READ MORE: Illinois lawmakers consider measures aimed at blocking e-cigarettes from young people

 

MORE CALLS TO ACTION:  GET INVOLVED: Calls to Action By State


TOBACCO CONTROL

Health Department: Just Keep Smoking Until You Quit

Adult vaping in Vermont increased 3 percentage points while smoking is down by 4 percentage points. Nicotine vaping is scientifically proven to be more effective than NRT and significantly less harmful, yet the Department of Health advises adults who smoke not to switch.

Instead, they say, use the same methods public health has recommended for decades. These “proven” methods are actually proven to be woefully ineffective, especially when people aren’t actively trying to quit. Surveys show that only 40% of the adults who smoke in Vermont tried to quit in the past year and most failed, even having tried to quit three or more times. If nothing else, switching to a far lower risk product would be much better than continuing to smoke in-between quit attempts. By telling adults who smoke not to switch, they may as well be saying “Just keep smoking until you can quit.”

READ MORE: Survey finds adult cigarette use down

 

Ohio Health Director “Blames” Big Tobacco For Fewer People Smoking

Ms. Zornes, Health educator for Lawrence County (OH) Health Department, writes: “According to the CDC, adult e-cigarette use rose from 3.7 percent in 2020 to 6 percent in 2022.  This may be due to the suggested message by big tobacco companies that e-cigarettes are less dangerous than traditional cigarettes.”

Except it’s not just a “suggested message by big tobacco companies.”  Many health groups, including the CDC, agree they’re less dangerous and the science backs them up! One has to wonder why public health just can’t be happy that adult smoking rates continue to dramatically decline as vaping increases?

READ MORE: Think you know what’s in your vape? Think again. Read more at: https://www.irontontribune.com/2024/04/05/think-you-know-whats-in-your-vape-think-again/

CASAA IN ACTION

CASAA Live Looking For Guest

Are you a non-industry vaper who has been living under the flavor ban in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York or Rhode Island? CASAA Live is looking for guests for our Vaping Frontlines series to talk about their experience in navigating these bans.

Please email us at board@casaa.org or message us on social media if interested!

 

Second-hand Vapor Misinformation

Vaping “firsthand” is not 100% safe. That is true because nothing we consume is 100% safe.

However, the general consensus is that vaping has far fewer and far lower risks than smoking. So how could secondhand vapor possibly have harms “just like” secondhand smoke?

We were about to tackle this article on social media, but then we saw that the American Vapor Manufacturers (@VaporAmerican) already has a must-read takedown on X (formerly Twitter) that actually forced USA Today to make some (but not all) corrections of the blatant disinformation.

 

https://twitter.com/VaporAmerican/status/1775146250599547065

READ MORE: Secondhand e-cigarette vapor may pose risk to children: study

LEGISLATION

So…Who Wants to Tell Them?

Tell us you’re clueless about what the FDA is NOT doing without telling us you’re clueless about what the FDA is NOT doing.

Regarding a proposed vape registry bill in Virginia, Sen. Creigh Deeds stated, “The [state] registry’s purpose is to identify products that have been inspected and authorized and somebody’s looked at them.”

He apparently doesn’t understand that almost none of the products on their future registry will have been “inspected, authorized” or “looked at” by the FDA. To date, only around two dozen vapor products have been authorized for marketing by the FDA, mainly obsolete products in “tobacco” flavor sold by tobacco companies, and tens of thousands of products preferred by adults were denied authorization without being “inspected” or “looked at” in any way.

https://twitter.com/dnmarlin/status/1744623050161529122

READ MORE: Flavored vape products could be pulled from Virginia shelves

 

It’s No April Fool’s Joke

Lawmakers are over-taxing, banning and severely regulating #vaping and other novel smoke-free products with the potential to save millions of lives — all while the FDA continues to authorize new marketing applications for deadly cigarettes.

No joke. Just fools.

 

Maryland Lawmakers Slip Vape Tax Bill Into Budget

Disregarding the health of adults who smoke and/or vape, Maryland lawmakers quietly slipped anti-Tobacco Harm Reduction tax raises into the budget bill. The open system/bottled e-liquid vaping product tax rose from 12% to 20% and other smoke-free products rose from 53% to 60%.

READ MORE: Maryland Democrats increase tobacco tax, vehicle fees in budget deal

PUBLIC HEALTH

The Very Real ‘Slippery Slope’

“The official argument for regulating tobacco differently to alcohol is that cigarettes are a “unique product”. The WHO says that tobacco “is the only legal consumer product that kills when used exactly as intended by the manufacturer.” This was the explanation given by anti-smoking campaigners for decades whenever it was suggested that tobacco regulation creates a “slippery slope”…

For example, Stanton Glanz wrote, “The ‘slippery slope’ argument is one that the tobacco industry has routinely raised to oppose policies against its interests, including smoke-free policies, decisions by arts and cultural organizations not to accept tobacco money, advertising restrictions, and other policies. These predicted subsequent problems simply have not materialized.”

And Australian anti-smoking activist and academic Simon Chapman wrote, “This argument appears to have quickly lost momentum when the dire predictions of rampant warnings never materialised.”

Author Christopher Snowdon, however, points out that more recently, “public health campaigners HAVE cited the precedent of graphic warnings, advertising bans and plain packaging for tobacco as a justification for applying the same regulations to OTHER products, including alcohol. It is far too early to say that the “dire predictions” were wrong.”

https://twitter.com/cjsnowdon/status/1774768558213337169

READ MORE:  Why is alcohol regulated differently to tobacco?

RESEARCH

No, This Study Doesn’t Prove Vaping Causes Heart Failure

This Forbes article about a recent study has several issues, including misleading statements about EVALI and “popcorn lung,” neither of which have been linked to nicotine #vaping. However, we’re focusing on statements about the study itself.

First, researchers claim e-cigs increased the risk of heart failure by 19% if they vaped nicotine “at any point in their lives.” The absurdity of this should be obvious. This means they linked heart failure to vaping even if the person vaped only a few times many years ago.

Second, they claim they “found no evidence that participants’ age, sex or smoking status modified the relationship between e-cigarettes and heart failure.” Nor did alcohol use.

This is a red flag, because most of those factors alone can raise the risk of heart failure!

Third, the average age of the subjects was 52 years old and 60.5% were women. The risk of HFpEF is very low in people under 55 and risk increases by age. There is also a higher occurrence of HFpEF in women. Surveys show that most vapers are under age 45 and more are male.🤔

Finally, other news articles about the study reveal that researchers admit that “the study’s prospective observational design allows them to infer, but not conclusively determine, a causal relationship between e-cigarette use and heart failure.”

It seem incongruent for Forbes to print such an article, considering CEO Steve Forbes has long been a supporter of vaping.

READ MORE: Vaping Health Risks: Study Suggests Nearly 20% Increased Threat Of Heart Disease From E-Cigarette Use

 

Experts Rip Study Linking Vaping and Heart Attacks

Tobacco Harm Reduction expert Dr. Brad Rodu, along with co-authors Dr. Nantaporn Plurphanswat and Dr. Arielle Selya, thoroughly debunked a study claiming a link between #vaping and heart attacks (a different study than the one mentioned above,) chiding the author for making “erroneous claims” and overstating the association.

The authors concluded:

“The findings indicate that Alzahrani’s study is scientifically unreliable. The association between e-cigarette use and heart attack reported by Alzahrani was substantially driven by age, and the very small number of exposed cases makes the association very unstable. Given the nature of cross-sectional NHIS data, it is impossible to establish a robust association or causal claim that e-cigarette use “increases” the risks of any disease.”

READ MORE: Questionable Effects of Electronic Cigarette Use on Cardiovascular Diseases From the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS, 2014-2021)

 

Significant Decline in Adult Dual Use

Study finds that dual use decreased as the e-cigarette market expanded and #vaping products improved. Real-world trends indicate people who use nicotine vapes are now more likely to stop smoking altogether rather than continuing to both smoke and vape. This is a significant finding, because public health groups have long used “dual use” as another excuse to oppose supporting vaping as a safer alternative to smoking.

READ MORE: E-cigarette users now more likely to quit traditional cigarettes

FDA

Menthol Lawsuit Ignores Facts

From 2011-2021, smoking dropped from 19.4% to 11.7% among black US adults, and 20.6% to 12.9% among white US adults, without a menthol ban, but with the availability of menthol and other flavored vaping products — which these folks ALSO want to see banned. It’s difficult to reconcile those statistics with a “need” to ban menthol/flavored tobacco products, especially when including vapor and other smoke-free products in the ban.

It’s also highly paternalistic and arguably racist to target flavors preferred by one particular racial community, suggesting adults in that community are incapable of making decisions for themselves and their own health.

READ MORE: Civil rights, medical groups sue FDA over ‘almost unconscionable’ delay in ban on menthol tobacco products

REGULATION

FTC Reports on Old Vape Data

The FTC just issued its third #vaping product sales & advertising report, which uses 2020-2021 data of products mostly sold in convenience stores. Surely those numbers haven’t changed at all in 4 years? And what about open system products sold in vape shops? Who is tracking the sales and advertising there?

READ MORE: FTC Issues Third Report on E-Cigarette Advertising and Sales in the U.S.

IN THE NEWS

Michigan Media Outlet Conflates EVALI With Nicotine Vaping

This FOX 2 Detroit news report on proposed vaping taxes in Michigan irresponsibly conflates lung injury deaths – which strong scientific evidence shows were caused by vitamin E acetate in illicit THC vapes – with the nicotine products targeted by the tax.

WATCH VIDEO:  State tobacco tax could be expanded to include e-cigs and vape products

 

Along with the possible tax, Michigan manufacturers, retailers and adults who benefit from reduced harm tobacco and #vaping products are also facing a slew of other anti-harm reduction/anti-vaping laws.

TAKE ACTION: Michigan: Stop a Vape Tax and Other Anti-Vaping Bills!


CASAA IN ACTION // CASAA Live

Some see disposable vapor products as important tools for harm reduction and saving lives, while others see them as a serious threat to the industry and advocacy. On this week’s episode, join us for a nuanced conversation about the pros and cons of these controversial products.

Catch the next show LIVE Saturday, April 20th 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 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: