VapeSling® is donating Average Joe HP slings for the troops to not lose or break their vape while in IRAQ.
They are Army Regulation “Subdued Black” Stitched cradle, with Black and Camo cording. Army VapeSlingers!
The U.S Army SGT (E-5) Contacted VSLLC via our website contact from. He wrote the following. When he provides the photos, we will post them.
Comment: Hi, my name is SGT Adrian Pagan and I’m currently stationed at Ft Campbell, KY. My unit, 1/75 CAV, 1SBCT, 101 Airbone will be deploying to Iraq next month. I’m contacting you because I quit smoking and started to vape 13 November 2015 and it’s amazing what it has done for my physical fitness. I have 3 soldiers that would love to start to vape also but they’re very hesitant because stores around Ft Campbell are taking advantage of soldiers when it comes to Mod’s, tanks, RDA’s, coils, juice, etc… It will be extremely amazing if your company could sponsor our unit or my 3 soldiers with the hardware necessary to make the transition. It would mean the world to me if your company would be able to help us. Thank you very much.
SGT Pagan, Adrian
BTRP, 1/75 CAV, OPS NCO
101 AIRBONE, Ft CAMPBELL
I requested a story and deployment date from the SGT. This is what he wrote:
SGT Adrian Pagan Comment: As you know in the Army…. I can’t give you a direct day on when we’ll be deploying. (OPSEC)…. But I can tell you that it’s going to be towards the end of this month. So no worries on me been overseas before the package gets here!!!!! So go ahead and send the package!!!!. I will be getting a picture of my entire Section to show you all the guys that will be benefiting from your sling products.
4636 A Kelly St,
Ft Campbell, KY, 42223
SGT Pagan Adrian Story;
Well, On 13 November 2015, my daughter Cassie (14) told me that she wanted something from me for X-mas. She’s daddy’s girl so I said anything you want…? She said that she would hate for me not to be able to give her away on her wedding because I’ve been smoking for 14 yrs. So her and I went to a shop here on Ft Campbell called Saturn and they explained to me how does vape works and how beneficial it’s compared to regular smoking. A Co-worker, SPC Inostrosa, happen to had an IPV2 and he let me borrow the mod with the tank that was there so I didn’t had to buy a new one. I replaced the coils and for the pack of cigarettes that I was carrying, they exchanged my pack for a 30ml bottle of Cherry-Lemonade ICE 6mg. From then, I was hooked with my mod.
Hope you enjoyed my story and I’ll try to get some of my soldiers to also share their stories.
Thanks for everything and thank you for your support.
SGT Adrian Pagan Comments: Sorry for the delayed e-mail. Not sure if you’re tracking but we got a lot of classes that we have to go thru and its hard to get all of them together at one time and also, 1 soldiers from 3rd BDE was killed at Ft Polk LA during a live range training. So they have us here doing a bunch of safety classes. Hope you like the pics, a little blurry but we all love your product. Thanks for everything.
SGT Adrian Pagan Comments: 3 weeks before we go. They pushed it back a week due to the accident in FT Polk, LA. So still got some time to receive some donation. Do you have some on standby? Would love to help my last 3 soldiers with starter kits… Thank for everything.
Please contact SGT Pagan Adrian to thank him for his service
This model was developed to accommodate users with a secure method of hand carry or HandCheck.
This latest creation using our Patent Pending concept is the V2.0 HandCheck™ from VapeSling®.
This new sling model is a Hand Sling Mod Holder. As with all our Slings, Mods of ALL SIZES, WEIGHT and SHAPE are held, comfortably and securely. Your Mod’s weight is supported by 550 Military grade paracord and our proprietary reinforced canvas. The cording is adjustable and extends up to 9″.
Never worry about losing or letting your Mod fall again. Take out your best Mods…you know, the one Mod you cherish the most and are so reluctant to take her out, that she never seen daylight. Sling her up on your new secure HandCheck™ and IG #handcheck safely.
Attachment is done with the cradle sandwiched between the Atty and the Batty (Atomizer and Battery). Your Mod will be in full display and always ready to vape.
The HandCheck™ will also fit the 510 connections on EGO batteries. The center aperture on the HIPster cradle is designed to allow the 510 connection on all EGO batteries fit in securely. All 510 Atty’s will screw on easily. If you use an EGO Atomizer (EVOD, mini atty, etc.), we provide a 510 to EGO adapter to accommodate the threads. The 510 to EGO adapter provides the wider EGO threads for any EGO Atomizer whether you are using a 510 Mod or EGO battery.
On Feb 26th and 27th 2016, Vegas VapeFest was held once more. This year the National Vapers Club (NVC), organizers of VapeFest and Vape Activist events/meetings, decided to take the Vape Advocacy Seminar to the public! Previously, the valuable seminars were scheduled to be held in private rooms. The new public format was a welcome sight.
Yes, there were minor distractions on the show floor, however, the majority of the Vape Guests and Vendors attended the gathering held in the middle of the show floor. The Panel was filled with Vape Advocate celebrities: Julie Woessner (CASAA President), Cynthia Cabrera (SFATA President), Stefan Didak (Founder of NotBlowingSmoke), Cheryl Richter (NVC President), and Alex Clark (CASAA CTA publisher). This elite panel shared many points for our #2016VapeFight.
The following are my notes:
Julie Woessner (CASAA President), Alex Clark (CASAA CTA publisher) CASAA:
Calls to Action (CTA): All vapers must react to every single CTA published for their region.
Subscribe to CASAA. There are only 100k of subscribers. There should be 9 million. Sign up for the quarterly emails as well.
Vape responsibly: Clouds are great! However, when in a public area of non-vapers or smokers, keep your cloud down. Use low volume devices or as Grimm Green once demonstrated, blow the vape into your shirt. The clouds are causing some form of hatred towards vapers, so please keep the clouds rollin, but not in others faces.
Don’t support any business that does not Advocate for Vaping.
Don’t support any business that irresponsibly makes Child friendly products. However not intended for children, the product still hurts our vaping community and fight. We are under microscopes these days. These cereal and child favorite labeling is Ammo for the opposing parental view.
Educate vapers, however, more importantly, educate the non-vapers. Engage non-vapers to hear your story and correct any misinformation they may have stored. The people, not just government, can be informed and persuaded to help save billions of lives.
Print CASAA flyers and take to your Vape Shops. Activate and Advocate.
Cynthia Cabrera (SFATA President) SFATA:
The FDA deeming regulations are inevitable. They will be enforced sometime this year. It’s just a matter of when. Vape Businesses need to engage with SFATA for every CTA needed from them. Join SFATA now if you are a Vape Business. Unfortunately, time is running out, however still more action to be done. Every vape business will be required to win.
Child friendly labels are hurting our Vape business. This irresponsible behavior must cease to gain notoriety with the public. As of now the public has waned towards opposition due to our many flavors. Now this is the icing on the Kid Cake for the opposition. Vape Businesses, please wake up and label responsibly.
OMB meetings and Washington D.C.: If you are a e-liquid maker and you haven’t flown to Washington D.C. for a meeting, you are due. These meetings, however inconvenient, are the main fight businesses have. Take advantage while you still can be heard. Organize with SFATA for an OMB/OIRA meeting.
Get in Front of your Reps: If you haven’t met your Senators or Representatives, fly to D.C. to do it ASAP. If you absolutely cant do this, call and write as much as possible.
Vape Shops: You are at the public end. You are extremely important to our vaping community. You can educate the public best out of all businesses. Local Neighborhood: Everything you do is being watched closely by opposers and vape advocates the same. Set example for the rest and be the best. Print and post flyers for CASAA, SFATA, NotBlowingSmoke etc.
Vape Shops: Battery Safety: If you don’t have liability insurance, get it immediately. Also, provide a “Battery Safety” sign off card for your protection of frivolous law suits. The signed document will help prove your concern for the customer’s safety.
Stefan Didak (Founder of NotBlowingSmoke) NotBlowingSmoke:
Common Sense: USE IT!!! Vape responsibly and Advocate. Educate everyone.
Post and repost on social media. Social Media reaches many.
Print NBS Flyers for your vapeshops and other vape gatherings, such as cloud comps.
Go to D.C. if possible. Speak to your Rep or Senator face to face. Call and write your story.
Support all your local vape businesses that Advocate.
Conserve your clouds. Clouds in non-vaping public is tainting our image more than ever. Refrain from intimidating behavior towards non-vapers and smokers.
Wake, Vape, Advocate, every day. Always have a thought saved everyday for advocacy. This year we need all the help we can get. You may come up with a brilliant solution to our Vaping woes.
Cheryl Richter (NVC President) National Vapers Club (NVC):
A study will be conducted by NVC from donated funds (VSLLC and many vape businesses). The study will be to determine once and for all, if 2nd hand vapor is harmful or lingers. The study will involve an apartment building. Rooms in the building will be exposed to vapor. The vapor will be measured in intervals for dissipation and density. A very valuable test. We are all sure the scientific facts will prove in favor of vaping. Misinformation needs to be crushed immediately with scientific facts. This will be one of them.
NVC will continue to organize informational advocacy and vape activism throughout the year. They always involve SFATA, CASAA, etc. for more effect.
Support VapeFest wherever they show up. Attend the advocate seminars provided. Stay informed and respond to all calls to action.
Cheryl and NVC joined CASAA and SFATA on their OMB meeting visit to D.C.
Vaping is in serious danger. All vapers and their non-vaping friends need to get involved…NOW!!!
Keep the clouds within friends and not out in public.
Support your Vape Community by patronage to Vape Advocate Business only. Forget the rest till they past the test.
Misinformation needs to be crushed with scientific facts:
Fact #1: Smoking TAR is proven to Kill 400k a year. Vaping has no casualties, for any year!!! (Drops the mic and walks off)
The notes taken and published here are solely of VapeSling founder J.G. As with any human, his text may have an error or 2. In context, the text is his written recollection of what was said at the seminar.
VapeSling LLC will be @ the best Vape Advocate/Vape show put on by National Vapers Club. We can’t wait to meet all the IG #vapefam there. Feb 26th – 27 ?VSLLC @vegasvapefest ?Visit Vegas and come see us while you’re there.
We will have the only free, lucky, Craps table in all of Vegas. Win a sling on snake eyes. See all our slings and try them on. “Show only Limited editions” will be offered. Hats and shirts as well. Thank you for your support of VSLLC for our 1st year. Last year, Vapefest was our very 1st show. We had an unexpected blast!!! This year should be as good if not better. Great advocates, great people!
Vegas Vapefest 2016 will be held once again at the fabulous Flamingo Hotel – in the heart of the Vegas strip.
Whether you have been to a large expo or just a small town meet, Vapefest is for you! Try something new and have fun in the sun! Come join us for a fun-filled event!
Vapefest is the LONGEST running vape meet in the country. We areNOT an expo! We are a community oriented vape meet focused on having fun, meeting new vapers, helping smokers make the switch and learning about “What’s New” in the industry. Vapefest is a one-of-a-kind event that is enjoyed by thousands of vapers every year. We understand you have a choice when it comes to events and we hope you will make Vapefest your destination vape event!
SCORE’s Championship celebrates U.S. small businesses, and is made possible thanks to funding from Sam’s Club and The SCORE Foundation.
One Grand Champion will win $25,000 – money you can put to great use for building your business. $1,000 Sam’s Club gift cards will also be awarded to two businesses from each state and the District of Columbia. Champions will be invited to a regional Training and Networking Event in Phoenix, Chicago, or Washington DC. in late March 2016. Of course, SCORE also will pair you with a business mentor to support you throughout this journey – and for the life of your business.
If you’ve already been a SCORE client, your business may be eligible to win one of eleven SCORE Awards and be invited to the SCORE Awards Gala on September 15, 2016, in Washington, D.C. All entrants get major national publicity.
To enter, answer the question, “What dream would you be able to achieve if you were to win this Championship?” through a video of 30-60 seconds, or with a photo and written response of no more than 1,500 characters. You will need at least 100 votes to be eligible. Beyond determining eligibility, public support (meaning votes) only comprises 15% of the final score. The remaining 85% is determined by our panel of judges based on the compelling nature of the entry (50%), creativity/originality (25%) and clarity/adherence to theme (10%). Entry period is January 14, 2016, through 5:00 pm EST on February 12, 2016.
The 102 National Champions will be announced on March 11, 2016. The Grand Champion will be selected from the National Champions by a panel of small business experts in July 2016. In part, judges will review how well the business has taken advantage of the $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card and SCORE training at the regional Training and Networking Event to achieve a business dream. The Grand Champion will be announced at the Gala on September 15, 2016.
Members often tell us they don’t have a lot of time or money, but they want to help. The main thing CASAA needs is members getting our information out to the public and recruiting new members. Below is a list of things that only cost you a little time and effort. CASAA needs members to do these things more than ever. Without your involvement, CASAA cannot succeed!
Join CASAA If you haven’t yet, make sure you’ve joined CASAA by using the form at Become A Member. It’s quick and it’s free!
By signing up, you add your contact information to CASAA’s contact database. This allows us to email you with information on legislation and ordinance alerts for your state and municipality. We also send you occasional newsletters. You will not receive advertisements, donation requests or any other kind of spam. The system CASAA uses is a trusted and secure system. You may unsubcribe from CASAA emails at any time.
Write Down and Save Your Story
CASAA frequently posts Calls to Action and links to articles, asking you to share your story with lawmakers and the media. Be prepared by taking some time to write down important facts, such as:
How you discovered electronic cigarettes or other smoke-free alternatives
What methods you have used previously to try to quit smoking and how they worked for you
How the product helped you quit smoking
How it has affected your health
What features of the product are important to helping you quit (ie. flavors, nicotine strengths, types of devices)
How use bans and sales restrictions would affect your ability to stay quit
It’s important to learn and stay informed! CASAA has members discussing the issues on social media and on forums. Join us on Facebook, the We are CASAA Facebook group, Twitter, the CASAA Forum on E-Cigarette-Forum.com, Skype, Instagram and Google+. The links are on the bottom of our website home page.
Answer Calls To Action And Local Alerts
Calls to Action are issued for state and federal-level legislation, while Local Alerts are occasionally issued for ordinances in major cities and heavily populated counties. If are a registered CASAA member, you will get an email notifying you of an opportunity to take action in your city or state when the time is right.. CASAA writes and posts Calls to Action on our blog and then syndicates links out to Facebook, our RSS feed, Twitter, Instagram, and G-plus.
The post includes a brief summary of how the bill would impact consumers, any information regarding upcoming hearings, as well as a link to the bill. State and Federal Calls to Action include a link to a pre-written, editable email letter that will be sent to your elected officials. When the information is available, we will also include members of the committee that is scheduled to hear the bill. Using our system typically takes less than a few minutes.
Calls to Action are the cornerstone of CASAA activism. Residents contacting their lawmakers (especially by phone and in person) and showing up to tell their story at hearings is by far the most effective, grassroots way of combating harmful legislation. You cannot count on “someone else” going instead. The more people that show up to oppose a bill or ordinance, even if they do not all speak, the better the chances of blocking a bad law. Nothing makes politicians take pause more than seeing a lot of opposition to a proposed law from their constituents. While it doesn’t always work, it has a far better chance of succeeding than doing nothing at all. You can be sure that organizations supporting a bill will be there in force to convince lawmakers it should become law. Hearing your stories on how the law would negatively impact you and your family carries a lot of emotional weight – don’t underestimate that power!
It is equally important to show your support for the “good” laws such as simple bans on sales to minors and laws clearly designed to protect consumers. Send “thank you” notes to lawmakers who voted against bad laws!
Watch For Proposed State Laws And Report Them To CASAA
If you see a news story about a proposed tax or law regarding tobacco, e-cigarettes, or even smoking (e-cigarette regulations are often hidden in smoking bans), please visit our Calls to Action page to see if we’ve issued something. If not, take a moment to find all of the information we need and report it to CASAA using the Request Call to Action form. For a local, county or city proposed law or ordinance, please also contact the Vaping Militia.
It is very important that ALL of the requested information is filled out on the form. We rely heavily on members finding all of the information we need so we can quickly post it and get it out to the membership and social media. Here is the information we need (also see the request form):
Your contact information
The state that would be affected by the law (Please remember that CASAA only responds to Federal or state-level legislation, and some major metropolitam cities.)
The bill number (which is usually something like SB 440 or AB 762)
A link to the actual bill language and bill tracking on the state’s website
A detailed description of what the bill would do, such as an indoor/outdoor use ban , locensing requirements or a tax increase (with the amount)
The name, email address and phone number of bill sponsor
A list of each person on the committee, council or legislative body considering the bill. You can usually find this information on the government website for the state or municipality. Collect the names, email addresses and direct phone number for each person and type or copy/paste them into the form
After collecting the contact information, copy the email address for each representative and paste them into the form, separated by a comma. This creates a “comma delimited email list” that members can copy and paste into their email for a bulk emailing
It may be helpful to look at previous CASAA Calls to Action, to see how they were done and the information we need from you: CASAA Calls to Action Share Calls To Action, Local Alerts And Press Releases
When CASAA posts important information to Facebook, don’t just “like” the posts. Be sure to “share” them on your personal timeline and with other like-minded groups!
For press releases, don’t stop with sharing them with friends – share them with your local news outlets on their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts! Take a little time to collect and save the email addresses, Twitter accounts and Facebook links for your local newspaper editors and television news station “story idea” directors. CASAA press releases will be mailed to you via our contact database, forward that email to the newspapers and news stations on your list.
Don’t forget to share CASAA information with bloggers, internet radio and video vape show hosts, too! CASAA has multiple RSS feeds to subscribe to here.
Join Enthusiast Groups And Tell Them About CASAA
Enthusiast groups are popping up everywhere, especially with e-cigarette consumers. Many still do not know what is happening regarding legislation or they don’t know what they can do about it. Join both online and local groups and let them know about CASAA!
Tell Your Vendor About CASAA
Visit stores in person or contact online vendors, let them know the work CASAA is doing and that we need their support and involvement. Membership is free! CASAA’s website and handout materials are free of advertising and a neutral place for store owners to send their customers for information about smokeless alternatives. We can say the things they can’t say regarding the safety and efficacy of the products they sell and we have materials they can use, such as the folded informational business cards, flyers and display stands. Ask your online vendors to download display the “We Support CASAA” logo and link to casaa.org on their website.
Donate A CASAA Vendor Display Kit
The CASAA store has a vendor display kit for local stores that includes a display stand with card holder, insert poster and 250 folded informational business cards for $30 (our cost.) In lieu of a monetary donation directly to CASAA, consider purchasing one or more kits and taking them to local stores to put on their counter instead.
Hand Out CASAA Literature and Cards
The CASAA web site has downloadable flyers, a medical inforgraph, cards, brochures and research that you can print and give out at vape meets and to family members, smokers, customers, doctors, employers and lawmakers. You can also purchase the CASAA folded informational cards from our store. CASAA Printable Material CASAA Store
You can either do a one-time donation or set up a recurring monthly donation. CASAA uses PayPal and Dwolla, but you can also use a credit card, if you don’t use PayPal, or pay by check/money order. CASAA uses these funds to pay for the website maintenance, domain names, press releases, CQ Roll Call, CASAA phone app, directors’ travel expenses, accountant services, phone service, PO Box, printing materials, graphic licenses and more.
Contributions or gifts to CASAA are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.
CASAA also maintains a separate Research Fund, which pays for our survey subscription, research assistant and research grants. You can find out more and donate to the Research Fund here: CASAA Research Fund
In December, 2015, CASAA had the opportunity to present our analysis of the FDA Deeming Regulations along with over 8000 testimonials we’ve collected from vapers. At the time of this writing, the deeming regulations are still listed as “under review” with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA).
This may be a positive sign that OIRA is working to blunt some of the worst of the impact of FDA’s regulations, but it may also be indicative of the overall backlog of tasks that federal agencies are prone to experience. This backlog, of course, is just one of the major issues facing the effectiveness of the approvals process that vapor manufacturers would be required to undergo once the deeming regulations are finalized. Although the delay is useful in buying time for the industry and consumers to raise awareness — publicly and in Congress — about the devastating effect the deeming regulations will have on our access to vapor products, it is still only a delay. The regulations are pending, not tabled.
Actually, the more accurate term is disinformation. Some will remember San Francisco Department of Health’s 2014 campaign to “educate” residents and visitors about the change to the city’s anti-smoking law which included vapor products in the public use ban. Since then, several new campaigns have been unleashed on the public and are having a detrimental effect on people’s understanding and awareness of vapor products.
Chicago, IL – Most recently, the City of Chicago released the #VapingTruth campaign. Despite the title, the campaign is riddled with inaccuracies and innuendo which falsely equate vapor products with the harms of smoking. The campaign is presented as a means of discouraging youth from initiating a life-long, debilitating nicotine addiction through using products being marketed as “safe.” However, to the trained eye, the campaign is clearly an effort to justify the city’s outrageous $0.55 per milliliter tax on e-liquid (combined with Cook County’s $0.22 per milliliter tax, the total tax imposed on e-liquid is $0.75 per milliliter). Predictably, many vapor retailers are leaving the City of Chicago and moving to neighboring municipalities that have not implemented such a devastating tax.
The net effect for Chicago, again, predictably, will be a loss of revenue and a blow to public health as fewer people make the switch from smoking to low-risk alternatives like e-cigarettes. Unfortunately, it will take the rest of the year and maybe longer for the data to show Chicago’s mistake. In the meantime, thousands of smokers within the city who do not have access to affordable means of purchasing vapor products — or have otherwise been misled into believing that e-cigarettes are possibly more dangerous than smoking — will continue to smoke or attempt to quit by traditional means that have dismal failure rates.
New York City, NY – In January, CASAA’s Legislative Coordinator Alex Clark along with American Vaping Association’s Gregory Conley attended a rally in New York City organized by City Comptroller Scott Stringer and NYC Public Advocate Letitia James. The #NoEcigs4Kids rally was a direct attack on the alleged youth-oriented marketing practices of the vapor industry. However, once again, like the campaigns in Chicago and San Francisco, the press conference was riddled with innuendo and baseless claims of harm associated with vapor products. Another disturbing theme of the event was the insinuation that flavors other than tobacco and menthol are used exclusively to entice children to purchase and use vapor products.
Despite the organizers’ apparent lack of interest in the facts about vapor products and their attempts to quash dissent, a few in attendance, including Jeff Stier of the National Center for Public Policy Research, were able to offer an opposing voice to the media.
CASAA’s Testimonials Project, as mentioned above, has collected over 8000 stories and continues to grow. During CASAA’s December meeting with OMB/OIRA regarding the FDA deeming regulations, your stories were prominently featured as part of our presentation. We are working toward collecting testimonials with more detail so that we can provide state specific numbers to state and regional advocacy organizations that will assist them in their advocacy efforts.
No matter what your feelings are about the current crop of candidates, primary season is a perfect opportunity to take part in the political process. Exercising your right to vote is vital to any advocacy effort. Engagement from voters carries weight with lawmakers as they consider input on legislation that comes before them. Lawmakers are not be able to see how you vote, but they will certainly check to see if you are voting.
As of Tuesday, February 9th, 2016, 41 states are in session. Although we haven’t seen nearly as many bills introduced as we did by this time in 2015, there are new legislative issues that are emerging and several bills have been carried over from the previous session.
HR 2058 — The FDA Deeming Clarification Act of 2015 — is still the best legislative vehicle we have to change the predicate date for newly deemed tobacco products in the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act. Without this necessary change, vapor manufacturers will be required to submit prohibitively expensive pre-market approval applications in order to bring their products to market. By the FDA’s own estimates, this requirement will cause 97%+ of current manufacturers to exit the market. CASAA estimates this will actually be 99%+.
Child Resistant Packaging
In January, President Obama signed S.142 — The Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2015 — into law. Effective July, 2016, all bottles of e-liquid sold in the United States will be required to have child-resistant packaging. Retailers and manufacturers should become familiar with two very important sections of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR): Title 16, Section 1700.15 (Poison prevention packaging standards) and Section 1700.20 (Testing procedure for special packaging). Some states already require e-liquid to be sold in child-resistant packaging. Retailers are required to show proof upon inspection that a manufacturer of e-liquids they are selling is compliant with these two sections. It is important to note that just because a manufacturer states that their bottles are child-resistant, it does not mean they are compliant with federal standards.
Alaska, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Utah, and Virginia all have new tax bills aimed at vapor products introduced this year.
California is facing a ballot initiative in 2016 that would raise the tax on cigarettes to $2.00 per pack. Although it is being promoted as a strategy to discourage youth from smoking and to raise much needed revenue for the state, it would also establish an equivalent tax on vapor products. Neither the title of the initiative nor many reports on this effort disclose the tax on vapor products. Retailers and advocates in California should make every effort to raise awareness about this initiative and inform consumers that it includes a tax on e-cigarettes.
Maine saw a tax bill defeated almost immediately this year, but until the legislature is adjourned in late April, it’s still too soon to call LD 973 “dead.”
West Virginia’s governor has threatened to include a tax on vapor products in this year’s budget. There is currently a bill — HB2634 — which would raise the wholesale tax on other tobacco products (OTP) from 7% to 50%. Although OTP does not typically include vapor products, the category primarily refers to low-risk smokeless tobacco products such as snus, moist snuff, and often dissolvable nicotine products.
Maryland HB 71 proposes to raise the tax on OTP from 30% to 74%. This bill also defines snus and other dissolvable smokeless tobacco products that were vaguely included in the previous definition of OTP. A separate tax is defined for these “single-dose smokeless tobacco” products. Like West Virginia, Maryland does not currently define OPT to include vapor products.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has included the 40% wholesale tax again in the FY2016-17 Commonwealth Budget proposal.
Tobacco 21 (T21)
Oklahoma, Kentucky, Washington, New York, New Jersey, Iowa, and West Virginia all have bills that would raise the age to purchase tobacco and vapor products. Concurrently, HR3656 and SB2100 are active at the federal level to raise the federal minimum purchase age for tobacco products (which would include vapor products after FDA deeming) to 21.
New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie recently vetoed Tobacco 21 legislation. However, a new bill — SB 359 — was quickly introduced in another attempt to raise the purchase age.
Proposals to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products have been working their way through cities and municipalities for roughly ten years. In 2013, New York City– known for its aggressive tobacco control policies–was the first major US city to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco and vapor products to 21. In 2015, Hawaii became the first state to pass legislation that raises the minimum purchase age to 21.
Advocates of T21 claim these laws will significantly reduce smoking initiation for adolescents and young adults. However, these laws also ban the sale of vapor products and other safer alternatives to smoking. CASAA’s position is that including low-risk alternatives in T21 laws is unwise and likely to hamper the general public health goal of reducing the use of combustible tobacco products.
Consistent with CASAA’s mission, we support the principles of tobacco harm reduction as the most effective and humane means for reducing the harms caused by smoking. We believe if consumers are provided accurate information about the relative health risks of these products, in concert with their individual freedom to choose, many will opt for safer, low-risk alternatives to smoking. Empowering consumers presents a significant opportunity to vastly improve public health without resorting to coercive methods of control such as punitive taxation, comprehensive place bans, and excessively restrictive regulations.
In contrast, advocates of T21 legislation have as their guiding principle the eventual elimination tobacco and nicotine products from the marketplace. To this end, they promote the view that all tobacco and vapor products, in spite of considerable evidence to the contrary, are equally harmful. We believe it is never appropriate to mislead consumers about product risks in order to achieve a policy goal.
Accordingly, T21 legislation, which treats all tobacco and vapor products equally under the law, sends the misleading message to consumers that e-cigarettes, snus, and other low-risk products pose risks equivalent to traditional cigarettes. It treats young adults, who are capable enough to serve in the military, sign contracts, and elect decision-makers to public office, as incapable of making the distinction between risky and less risky behavior. And finally, T21 laws represent a prohibitionist approach, which in the past has often been met with limited success compared to the harmful unintended consequences.
Although CASAA takes no position on regulations regarding combustible tobacco products, we strongly oppose this legislation. We believe this policy will cause far more harm than it prevents, and we urge our members to oppose it.
Place Bans (Indoor and Other)
New Jersey A3842 would allow for the use of vapor products in vapor retail/lounge establishments. New Jersey was the first state to include vaping in an indoor smoke-free air law in 2010. The law applies to all indoor public places and has proven to be, in some cases, unenforceable, while in other cases the law has created problems for businesses, consumers, and local departments of health.
Alaska’s SB1 and HB40, which would include vaping in the state’s indoor clean air law, have been carried over from the 2015 session.
Florida’s HB1143 would prohibit vaping in the same places where smoking is currently banned. Beyond the fact that such a prohibition is unwarranted, the bill has some issues with the language that may extend the vaping ban to private residences, restaurants, and bars which are exempt from existing smoking regulations. HB1143 predictably passed favorably out of its first committee hearing in January. At the time of this writing, HB1143 missed an important deadline as it failed to be heard in the second committee hearing. Although this is a positive sign, there remains a possibility that the language from this bill will be tacked onto another piece of legislation that is further along in the process. We will update our call to action as more information comes to light.
Maryland, New York, Oklahoma, and Virginia all have bills this year that would prohibit vaping in indoor public spaces.
New Jersey and New York currently have bills introduced that would limit the sale of flavored vapor products to tobacco, menthol, mint, and wintergreen. CASAA has issued a Call to Action for the bill in New Jersey (S.298)
At the local level, municipalities such as Cleveland, OH, Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, and Boston, MA have restricted the sale of flavored tobacco and vapor products to specialty tobacco or vapor retail shops.
Albany County, NY [Update – Correction to specifics of Tuesday’s hearing] Local Law “C”…
“A Billion Lives”
CASAA has had several opportunities to meet with and get to know Aaron Biebert and some of the crew working on this documentary. We are very excited with the progress of this film and are looking forward to its release in 2016. As a follow up to a recent update from Aaron, we’d like to help facilitate requests to include the film in the various film festivals to which it has been submitted.
Please use the links collected below to contact the various festival organizers. Briefly tell them why the subject of the film is important to you (and the rest of the world, for that matter) and politely urge them to include “A Billion Lives” in their festival.
April 21, 2016 in Brooklyn, NY (location TBA) – Tobacco Harm Reduction Conference sponsored by New York City College of Technology, City University of New York, and Community Access. This day-long conference will bring together a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss nicotine replacement therapies, including e-cigarettes. A special focus will be on tobacco harm reduction with people who have a mental illness and drug users.
Shadi Chamany, MD, MPH (Director of Science, Division of Prevention and Primary Care, New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene)
Kevin McGirr, RN, MPH (New York City College of Technology, Conference Convener)
Riccardo Polosa, MD (Director, Institute of Internal Medicine & Clinical Immunology, University of Catania, Italy)
Helen Redmond, LCSW (Harm Reduction Specialist, Community Access, New York City)
Michael Siegel, MD (Community Health Sciences, Boston University, Boston, MA)
Julie Woessner, JD (Executive Director of The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association).
Details on exact location and cost are not yet available, but you can contact Kevin McGirr at firstname.lastname@example.org (718.260.5664) for more information. CASAA members in the greater NYC area who have an interest in, or experience with, the unique challenges posed by mental illness and drug use in connection with smoking tobacco will find this an informative conference.