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CASSA Call to Action for Nebraska

Discussion in 'Nebraska Vapers' started by Elantis, Sep 26, 2013.

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  1. Elantis

    Elantis ~≈Dragonfly≈~ Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 31, 2012
    Hoosier Cornhusker
    I just received an email about a call to action for the General Affairs Committee Meeting on October 4, 2013 where one of the items on the agenda will be the discussion of banning the sales of e-cigarettes to minors. While I wholeheartedly agree with banning the sales of any nicotine product to anyone under the age of 18, I would not support any legislation where e-cigs would be classified as "tobacco products, or tax them as such.

    I composed and sent an email to the members attending since I will not be able to attend personally to make my voice heard. My hopes are that other Nebraska residents will join me. Every voice is important.

    For those who are not CASSA members below is an outline and email addresses of the members attending;

    Please consider doing the followingwhen calling or writing the members of the Nebraska General Affairs Committee:

    1. Inform them you SUPPORT banning the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. While e-cigarettes are a far less hazardous alternative to cigarettes, it makes sense to ban the sale of products containing nicotine to those under 18. This is currently the law in 25 states.

    2. However, explain that youwould not support a bill that would classify e-cigarettes as "tobacco products," tax them as such, or ban their use where smoking is banned. Wyoming, Kansas, and Colorado all ban sales to minors but do not impose other burdensome regulations.

    3. Tell your story about how e-cigarettes have changed your life. Did using an e-cigarette help you quit smoking? If so, what was it about the e-cigarette that helped you quit? If you use a flavor other than tobacco or menthol, tell them about why such flavors are important to smokers looking to get away from the taste of cigarette smoke.

    4. Explain how the low risks of e-cigarettes is supported by research done by Dr. Michael Siegel of BostonUniversity, Dr. Thomas Eissenberg of Virginia Commonwealth, Dr. Maciej L Goniewicz of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Dr. Murray Laugesen of Health New Zealand, Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University, and by the fact that the FDA testing, in spite of its press statement, failed to find harmful levels of carcinogens or toxic levels of any chemical in the vapor.

    5. Direct them to the CASAA.org website, as well as CASAA's Research Library,for more information.
    [HR][/HR]
    How to Contact the Membersof the General Affairs Committee

    Comma delimited emaillist: ccase@leg.ne.gov, rkarpisek@leg.ne.gov, bkrist@leg.ne.gov, slautenbaugh@leg.ne.gov, ccoash@leg.ne.gov, dbloomfield@leg.ne.gov, jjohnson@leg.ne.gov, jmurante@leg.ne.gov, kschilz@leg.ne.gov

    When writing legislators, be sure to include your city so the legislators know they are being contacted by Nebraska citizens.

    Sen. Russ Karpisek (Chairperson) (District 32 -- Wilbur)
    Phone: (402) 471-2711
    Email: rkarpisek@leg.ne.gov

    Sen. Bob Krist (District 10 -- Omaha)
    Phone: (402) 471-2718
    Email: bkrist@leg.ne.gov

    Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh (District 18 -- Omaha)
    Phone: (402) 471-2618
    Email: slautenbaugh@leg.ne.gov

    Sen. Colby Coash (District 27 -- Lincoln)
    Phone: (402) 471-2632
    Email: ccoash@leg.ne.gov

    Sen. Dave Bloomfield (District 17 -- Hoskins)
    Phone: (402) 471-2716
    Email: dbloomfield@leg.ne.gov

    Sen. Jerry Johnson (District 23 -- Wahoo)
    Phone: (402) 471-2719
    Email: jjohnson@leg.ne.gov

    Sen. John Murante (District 49 -- Gretna)
    Phone: (402) 471-2725
    Email: jmurante@leg.ne.gov

    Sen. Ken Schilz (District 47 -- Ogallala)
    Phone: (402) 471-2616
    Email: kschilz@leg.ne.gov


    Pleasecc Christina Case at ccase@leg.ne.gov on all e-mails sent on this issue so that your testimony will be put on record.
     
  2. PittBoss

    PittBoss Vaping like a boss Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 27, 2012
    Lincoln, NE
    Thank you for posting that in here, Elantis!
     
  3. Elantis

    Elantis ~≈Dragonfly≈~ Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 31, 2012
    Hoosier Cornhusker
    Below is the text from the email I sent, if anyone would like to use the format then change to make the story their own, I am perfectly okay with this. I did receive an email back from Christina Case, thanking me for my testimonial, and indicating it would be made part of the record. It's just one little thing, but it could be a big thing later on.



    SUBJECT: General Affairs Committee Meeting on October 4, 2013

    Why am I writing to you today? I am writing because I have reached an exciting milestone in my journey and I would like to share. It has been 393 days since I last had a tobacco cigarette. That comes to 11,790 tobacco cigarettes that I have NOT smoked and over $2,004.30 that I have NOT spent on tobacco cigarettes. I owe my life and future to electronic cigarettes.

    Another important date is approaching, October 4, 2013, when the lawmakers on the Nebraska Legislature’s interim General Affairs Committee will meet and one item on the agenda will be the discussion of whether Nebraska should ban e-cigarettes sales to minors. While I wholeheartedly support the ban of sales of any product containing nicotine to those under 18, I would NOT support any bill that would classify e-cigarettes as “tobacco products,” tax them as such, or ban their use where smoking is banned. Our neighboring states, Wyoming, Kansas, and Colorado all ban sales to minors but are not imposing other burdensome regulations.

    (REPLACE PARAGRAPH WITH YOUR PERSONAL STORY)It is ironic this meeting will be in session on the day after my 59th birthday, and I am remiss that I cannot attend in person so that my voice can be heard. However, as a 40+ year smoker, who has tried every other “cure”, from hypnotism, herbal remedies (resulted in severe skin reaction and thousands of dollars in doctor bills), cold turkey (lasted four months), patches (skin reaction again), and Chantix (expensive and caused severe mental alterations). Then a year ago, I found e-cigarettes again, I received my kit on 8-30-2012 and that was also the last day I smoked a tobacco cigarette. Within a week, I could breathe a little better and that continued to improve immensely, I could smell, I could walk up a small flight of stairs without being completely winded at the top, and my blood pressure has returned to normal. Most of all, my precious Granddaughter says I don’t “stink” any longer. My journey started with 18mg nicotine level and I am now down to 6mg, the flavors and complete difference in taste kept me away from traditional cigarettes. I love the variety and am assured that even when I am at 0mg nicotine, I will continue the use of these products as I enjoy it.

    There have been many studies done and supported research on the low risks of e-cigarettes. The ingredients found in the e-liquids are found in everyday items. Just search Propylene Glycol and you will find hundreds, if not thousands, of products which contain this ingredient. You should also take the time to read the research done by the following respected researchers:

    Dr. Michael Siegel of Boston University

    Dr. Thomas Eissenberg of Virginia Commonwealth

    Dr. Maciej L Goniewicz of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute

    Dr. Murray Laugesen of Health New Zealand

    Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University

    Also be guided by the fact that the FDA testing, in spite of its press statement, failed to find harmful levels of carcinogens or toxic levels of any chemical in the vapor. To learn more and become informed, please visit www.CASSAA.org, as well as CASAA's Research Library.

    Sincerely,

    YOUR NAME
    YOUR CITY, STATE
     
  4. Elantis

    Elantis ~≈Dragonfly≈~ Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 31, 2012
    Hoosier Cornhusker
    Thank you for commenting PittBoss...I appreciate it. Hopefully there will be some involvement ;)
     
  5. Jakersvape

    Jakersvape Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 27, 2012
    Lincoln, NE
    Thank you for this, Elantis! Very well written. While I hate writing letters, I will definitely write one, and hopefully be able to actually make it there. We all need to fight for our right to vape!!
     
  6. Elantis

    Elantis ~≈Dragonfly≈~ Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 31, 2012
    Hoosier Cornhusker
    Thanks Jake, just trying to make a difference. And it would be awesome if those close could attend...I have included more information from the email I received regarding attendance and what to expect ;)

    The October 4th meeting of the General Affairs Committee will begin at 1:30 pm in Room 1510 of the State Capital Building (1445 K St.) in Lincoln. Public comment of approximately 5 minutes will be permitted, but those wishing to speak for even 30 seconds are encouraged to attend. While the hearing is scheduled to begin at 1:30 pm, it might take between 1 and 2 hours for the e-cigarette issue to be discussed. Please keep this in mind and be patient. Upon arrival, be sure to ask for a speaker card (you can sign up to speak after 1:30 pm, but try to be on time).

    CASAA strongly supports banning e-cigarette sales to minors. Unfortunately, groups like the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, and Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids have began coming out in opposition to bills that do not treat e-cigarettes like "tobacco products." In other words, these groups want to tax e-cigarettes and ban their use where smoking is banned, both of which would make these life saving products less attractive to adult smokers.
     
  7. Bruce Nye

    Bruce Nye Full Member Verified Member

    Here's the text of my letter to the General Affairs Committee:

    September 30, 2013

    The Honorable Members of the General Affairs Committee:
    Senator Russ Karpisek (Chairperson),
    Senator Bob Krist,
    Senator Scott Lautenbaugh,
    Senator Colby Coash,
    Senator Dave Bloomfield,
    Senator John Murante,
    Senator Ken Schilz,
    And including my representative
    The Honorable Senator Jim Smith (District 14),
    And including the committee secretary
    Ms. Christina Case.

    I am, by distributing a copy of this letter to Ms. Case, authorizing the following as a statement to be included in the record of the General Affairs Committee's special hearing set for Friday October 4th at 1:30pm in regard to LR283 to "Examine issues related to the acquisition and use of electronic cigarettes by minors".

    Dear Senators,

    I write this in support of certain efforts, and opposition to certain efforts of the General Affairs Committee in regards to the regulation, sale and use of electronic cigarettes. I am a citizen of Sarpy County, City of Papillion, Legislative District 14 and I am represented in the legislature by Senator Jim Smith.

    First a very brief introduction: I am a 55 year old registered nurse currently working in the field of surgical trauma at one of Omaha's Level I trauma centers. I had smoked tobacco cigarettes from the age of 13. That's a 42 year history of smoking.

    I developed the smoking habit after exposure to the second hand smoke of my parents’ cigarettes appeared to no longer make me ill after smoking my first cigarette. I was no longer bothered by the smell of their tobacco use either. I attempted over a dozen times to quit the habit once I was on my own and noted the impact my habit was having on my ability to breathe. My longest previous success was 10 weeks in 1991 using support therapy and nicotine replacement patches. I was able to get through the entire reduction therapy of 8 weeks and remained nicotine and tobacco free for two weeks. Sadly that attempt was ruined when I was again exposed to tobacco smoke and stress and took up the habit again.

    Over the next 22 years I tried again to quit with each new resource, including several combinations of drug therapy, nicotine replacement, counseling and environmental changes. None had the success at relieving the craving for nicotine and the habit would quickly return.

    On September 25, 2012 I was diagnosed with Stage II Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) subsequent to my smoking history and my fifth episode of bacterial pneumonia. My physician, Dr. Shalindra Saxena, MD urged me to do whatever it took to stop smoking as my health would likely rapidly deteriorate from this point forward.

    I had heard of electronic cigarettes from a colleague who had some success in smoking cessation with these devices. After researching the subject, including reading several journal articles available at that time though The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), I discussed the alternative of using electronic cigarettes with my physician and was encouraged to try it. I purchased my first electronic cigarette kit two days later on September 27th 2012.

    That day I began using the electronic cigarette as an exclusive alternative to smoking. Even with a spouse who continued to smoke, I was able to continue the use of the electronic cigarette and completely avoid primary smoking. As the weeks elapsed my spouse graciously limited her smoking to specific areas of our home to reduce my exposure to second-hand smoke. My lungs began the course of healing.

    Today, I am one year tobacco free and I have reduced my nicotine exposure through the strength reduction of the liquid that is used to refill my electronic cigarette. My COPD is now at stage I and I am able to take the entire flight of stairs at my place of employment from the first to fifth floors where before I could barely do one floor without severely impairing my breathing.

    Having experienced this result of tobacco harm reduction directly as a result of using electronic cigarettes I have chosen to become an active advocate for their use as an alternative to smoking. Through CASAA I have become aware of this committee’s hearing regarding the perceived need of regulation of these devices to minors in our state and the possible taxation or other regulation of electronic cigarettes. I do support the idea that those of adult age should have free and unfettered access to these devices. I strongly support the idea that minors in our state should not have access to tobacco, alcohol, nicotine (the addictive substance in tobacco) and street and pharmaceutical drugs for illicit use. As such I believe that legislative support for our local retailers of electronic cigarettes (see Appendix I) in banning access to their facilities to minors would be beneficial.

    I am opposed, however, to classifying electronic cigarettes as tobacco products for the purpose of taxation. Foremost among the reasons for my opposition is the association of electronic cigarettes with tobacco use creates a perception that electronic cigarette use is similar to tobacco. This is at odds with the goal of harm reduction and smoking cessation. While studies are still sparse, there is a growing body of evidence that electronic cigarette use is an effective alternative to and radically less harmful than tobacco use. To create a false equivalence may damage the ability of citizens such as me to promote this safer alternative against the perception that it would be "just like smoking".

    My second objection to special taxation of electronic cigarettes stems from the treatment of other nicotine replacement therapies (Nicotine patches, gums and inhalers) as exempt from tobacco taxes where their ingredients are basically the same as that found in electronic cigarettes: Those ingredients being a base, a variable amount of nicotine, and an optional flavor. To make a separate law for electronic cigarettes will not likely survive legal challenge. The efforts to defend such challenges would be a drain on precious public revenues.

    My third objection to special taxation of electronic cigarettes stems from the problem of what constitutes the taxable entity. In the construction of an electronic cigarette there are three main parts: A battery, the vapor producing mechanism (often called an atomizer), and the liquid which is used to produce the vapor. As I mentioned previously, but worth repeating, the liquid consists of a base, a variable amount of nicotine, and optional flavor agents. In erecting a tax structure related to the notion of a tobacco product how would the committee handle the fact that the nicotine content is entirely variable by user selection? Taxing a non-tobacco product without even a trace of nicotine would open the legislation to litigation which would eventually overturn it. Basing the tax on the nicotine content would complicate compliance to a point where the revenues received would be substantially reduced by the likelihood of fraud, and the reporting, enforcement and prosecution required. That kind of legislative inefficiency is counterproductive to our society.

    My final objection to special taxation of electronic cigarettes is the public perception that such taxes are “Sin taxes”. Reduction of harm from tobacco use should never be considered a “Sin”.

    In closing, I urge the General Affairs Committee to proceed with haste to legislatively limit the availability of electronic cigarettes to minors. Such legislation would relieve the public concern that a possible route for an addicting substance (nicotine) to minors should have the same level of regulation as other nicotine replacement and tobacco products. I further urge the committee to proceed with due caution in further legislation of these products for purposes of taxation. At this time there is a growing body of evidence supporting the reduction of harm that electronic cigarettes afford those who, like me, are unable to quit tobacco use through any other means. To legislate from emotion, ignorance or incomplete knowledge is a fool’s errand which would likely have harmful unintended consequences.

    I have included in Appendix II some internet resources that will help to educate the senators further on this issue. Let us all work together to help make a healthier Nebraska.

    Thank you for your consideration. I can be reached for questions through the following means:

    Robert Bruce Nye, RN
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Papillion, NE 68046
    Phone: xxx.xxx.xxxx
    Email: rbnye@cox.net

    Appendix I:
    Exclusive retailers of electronic cigarettes personally known to me to limit sales to adults only:

    Plumes (Omaha location)
    725 North 120th St.
    Omaha, NE 68154

    Plumes (Bellevue location)
    11527 South 36th St.
    Bellevue, NE 68123

    Husker E-Cigs
    14803 W. Maple Rd.
    Omaha, NE 68116

    Appendix II:
    Sources for further information:

    CASAA - The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association
    c/o Elaine Keller
    7481 Huntsman Blvd. #420
    Springfield, VA 22153
    Website (Clinical Research): Clinical Research: Electronic Cigarettes
    Website (Scientific Opinion): Scientific Opinon: Electronic cigarettes
     
  8. Elantis

    Elantis ~≈Dragonfly≈~ Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 31, 2012
    Hoosier Cornhusker
    Outstanding Bruce!!!! And thank you so much!!!!

    Excellent letter, and I loved reading your story, and your letter was well designed and informative. I wish I had your eloquence.
     
  9. Jakersvape

    Jakersvape Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 27, 2012
    Lincoln, NE
    Great letter, Bruce! Very well written, and congrats on 1 year smoke free!
     
  10. PittBoss

    PittBoss Vaping like a boss Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 27, 2012
    Lincoln, NE
    It was a pretty successful day at the Capitol for the hearing!
     
  11. Elantis

    Elantis ~≈Dragonfly≈~ Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 31, 2012
    Hoosier Cornhusker
  12. tjmmotox

    tjmmotox Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 31, 2013
    Lincoln, NE
    Looks like it went well! I wish I could have been in town to attend, glad to see they're not currently interested in taxing them like other tobacco products
     
  13. Elantis

    Elantis ~≈Dragonfly≈~ Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 31, 2012
    Hoosier Cornhusker
    Agree...but still something we need to keep an eye on, who knows what can happen between now and January.

    I am a CASAA member and will get a Call to Action when any legislation involving e-cigarettes is being considered and will be keeping this sub-forum informed.
     
  14. tjmmotox

    tjmmotox Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 31, 2013
    Lincoln, NE
    Yeah I joined CASAA as well couple weeks ago and have been watching out for emails and such, it'll be interesting to see what happens in the coming months or years, I just hope they don't start regulating and taxing our stuff like tobacco, I'd hate to see local and online vendors be shut down
     
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