Harm Reduction Newsletter, April 21

Harm Reduction Newsletter

Harm Reduction Newsletter, April 21

Federal News Round-Up

The vapor industry and consumer freedom groups are focused on whether the Cole-Bishop language that would change the predicate date for vapor products will be included in the omnibus spending bill being negotiated as Congress seeks to avoid a government shutdown.

Scott Gottlieb, President Trump’s nominee to head the FDA, received a confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Health, Energy, Labor and Pensions Committee. The committee has scheduled an April 26 vote on the nomination.

State News Round-Up

Thirty-two state legislatures actively met this week regarding bans on vaping in public places. Twelve states have introduced bills to ban vaping in place, and five of them have failed thus far.

Iowa passed a local regulatory preemption bill that will limit local government authority to regulate consumer products including tobacco and vapor products.

The Senate Judiciary Committee in Alaska passed legislation raising the age of purchase for vapor products to 19. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee. Alaska’s Senate has previously passed legislation that would define vaping as smoking and ban it in smoking-prohibited locations.

Local budget amendments in Richmond, VA, were published this week, including a local cigarette tax specifically earmarked for debt service.

Science and Harm Reduction

study examining the methods adult US smokers used in attempts to quit smoking found substituting some cigarettes with e-cigarettes was used by a greater percentage of smokers than the nicotine patch, nicotine gum, or other cessation aids.

Researchers from the University of Louisville’s Tobacco Regulation and Addiction Center conducted a study examining aldehyde content in older and newer e-cigarettes.

Regulation

The New York Times editorial board came out swinging in support of the FDA’s Deeming Rule. The editorial’s argument left a lot to be desired. See responses from the American Enterprise Institute’s Sally Satel and Reason’s Guy Bentley.

The US Navy is banning e-cigarettes from its ships, aircraft, submarines, and boats. The ban will go into full force on May 14 and will “remain in effect until a final determination can be made following a thorough analysis.”

A coalition of consumer freedom groups supporting “policies which move smokers towards less harmful alternatives” signed a letter opposing Novato City Council’s unprecedented anti-tobacco ordinance, which threatens “individual property rights, freedom of contract and equal treatment for citizens under the law.”

HBO’s Vice News Tonight aired a segment on the FDA’s deeming regulations and both sides of the vaping debate. The e-cigarette segment starts at 14:50.

new paper suggests the possible unintended consequences of e-cigarette Minimum Legal Sale Age laws is rising youth cigarette smoking.

Taxation

New York state legislators rejected Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plans for a counterproductive 10-cents-per-milliliter tax on e-liquids and including e-cigarettes in the state’s Clean Air Act, which would have banned vaping in workplaces, restaurants, and workplaces.

Montana’s House Taxation Committee voted against Senate-passed legislation that would have increased taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products (smokeless and cigars) and created a new 74 percent wholesale tax on vapor products.

What’s Coming Up?

The Consumer Choice Center, a global initiative that aims to empower consumers to among other things switch to less harmful ways of consuming nicotine, is holding its launch event in Brussels on April 26.

The Annual Food and Drug Law Institute Conference will be held Washington, DC, on May 4-5.

The maiden US voyage of The E-Cigarette Summit: Science, Regulation and Public Health will be in Washington, DC, on May 8.

The Tobacco Merchants Association Annual Meeting in Chantilly, VA, is May 10-12.

Quotable Quotes

“Too many doctors cause unnecessary suffering among tobacco users and their families. Their actions are influenced by the misguided crusade against smokeless tobacco conducted by many government agencies and prohibitionist organizations,” – Dr. Brad Rodu, Professor of Medicine and Endowed Chair of Tobacco Harm Reduction Research, University of Louisville.

Additional Resources

The Proposed Tobacco Product Standard for NNN Level in Smokeless Tobacco Should Be Withdrawn
The World Health Organization’s Opposition to Tobacco Harm Reduction: A Threat to Public Health?
The Vapor Revolution: How Bottom-Up Innovation Is Saving Lives
Reason’s Research and Analysis of Nicotine and Vapor Issues

Guy Bentley is director of consumer freedom at Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets.