New from Steve K's Vaping World:

Talk about a weird week.  This week’s news roundup is a selection of kind of unusual stores.  Call it the weird pre-Christmas season if you will.  No that doesn’t mean that the prohibitionists have eased up.  But even the FDA has come out of its shell this week.  It seems like we might be in for a weird end of the year.

This is the heading text block where the introduction paragraph goes, don’t forget to update it.

Also, don’t forget the news item

Unprecedented Cooperation Between Industry and Regulators

Utah Vapers made a significant announcement via its Google+ page recently.  The group has been working in concert with local regulators to come up with a set of standards that would serve to actually protect consumers, while ensuring the industry isn’t simply handed to Big Tobacco.

The Utah Vapers is proud to announce an innovative partnership with the Davis County Health Department in the extension of our organizational self-regulation into county-wide regulations. We have been working with the health department for the last 7 months and are fully supportive of smart & sensible regulations which protects the consumers from poor manufacturing standards and enforce proper retail practices to help keep the products out of the hands of underage youth. The regulations, most of which have been in place for the Utah Vapers since March 2013, is the first of it’s kind nationwide and we believe it will raise awareness of the high quality manufacturing standards our members already follow and will set the bar for the global industry.

The county manufacturing regulations include the use of pharmaceutical and/or food grade ingredients, detailed labeling, child-proof caps and most importantly is the inspection of the manufacturing facilities to enforce similar sanitation standards found in the food manufacturing industry. The standards should provide a high level of confidence to the consumers that the liquids manufactured in Utah are among the safest in the country and have been manufactured in a sanitary facility with proper manufacturing practices. While the county regulations are still in public comment, our entire organization is supportive of this being finalized in early 2014.

The Utah Vapers commends Director Garrett and the staff at the Health Department for their progressive actions to protect the consumers in the county. They are the first public health agency in the country to partner with the industry in the development of standards and regulations and we fully support the steps being taken. The Utah Vapers are encouraged by these regulations and welcome additional partnerships with the Utah Legislature or the Utah Department of Health should they wish to adopt the regulations for broader state-wide regulations.

Aaron Frazier, Director Utah Vapers

via The Utah Vapers is proud to announce an innovative….

Can an e-Cigarette Blind You? One Main Claims They Can.

A North Carolina man claims that somehow his e-cigarette managed to blind him.  He claims that somehow the device shot enough eliquid out of the end to cause him to lose sight in one eye upon contact.  Despite the man explaining what happened, there’s little information to figure out how this was possible. The story mentions the victim is planning to lawyer up and go after bot the e-cig and e-liquid manufacturers.

But he says Tuesday night his E-Cig erupted after he took a puff, shooting hot oil out of the tip and into his eye burning the mucus membrane.

“I heard a little pop and all of a sudden I couldn’t see,” said Vecchione.

Vecchione says doctor’s are unsure if he will be able to regain vision in the eye.

“It’s a burning sensation that doesn’t stop until the menthol breaks down,” said Vecchione. “When the menthol breaks down, what it’s doing is it’s deteriorating the material that it lands on.”

We contacted Buckeye Vapors, the maker of the e-Liquid, who said that their product couldn’t possibly have caused the blindness in Vecchione’s left eye despite the fact that it contains propylene glycol, glycerin, grain alcohol, and nicotine which according to the CDC have been known to cause varying degrees of irritation, inflammation, and even severe pain when coming in contact with the eye.

via ONLY ON 3: Man says E-Cig caused temporary blindness | WWAY NewsChannel 3 | Wilmington NC News.

I’m trying to imagine a scenario where it’s possible to get that much e-liquid in one’s eye to cause permanent damage, particularly under routine use. I’ve actually managed to get e-liquid in my eye before, it certainly isn’t pleasant.  It also definitely wasn’t under normal vaping conditions. I’m curious to learn more about how this incident happened.

Dental Researchers to Look at e-Cigarette Impact

Apparently, every branch of science is curious about these new-fangled e-cigarette thingies.  Dental researchers are planning to take a look at the impact of e-cigarettes long before they hit the airway.  Specifically the group hopes to take a look to see what sort of stuff gets absorbed in the mouth as compared to what smokers absorb.

Each nicotine cartridge in an e-cig can provide 200 to 400 puffs, equivalent to two to three packs of cigarettes. “Due to the frequency of puffing, depth of inhalation, and length of vaping,” says Li, “e-cig users may actually absorb higher concentrations of nicotine and other toxins than conventional tobacco smokers.

Since the initial interaction of nicotine from e-cigs with the human body occurs first in the oral cavity, Saxena and Li will collect saliva and oral mucosa from College of Dentistry patients who are e-cig users to determine the relative abundance of oral bacteria and changes in DNA in these patients in order to compare them with the effects found among conventional cigarette smokers.

via Dental researchers examine hidden health impact of electronic cigarettes.

I’m not exactly sure how e-cigarette users are supposed absorb higher concentrations of toxins that aren’t actually in e-cigarette vapor, but whatever.  It’s like there’s some sort of prize for whatever researcher comes up with the next crazy theory about how e-cigarettes are somehow worse than the deadliest consumer product ever invented.  That prize is, of course, grant money I’d imagine.

Like the Unicorn, 2nd Hand Vapor Doesn't Exist (Sorry Bronies)

A new study has been published by the Clearstream project.  This is the same project that did some excellent early work in determining the levels of chemicals in e-cigarette vapor as opposed to the liquid itself.  The study simulated real world conditions by comparing the room are after a group of people smoked and then after a different group vaped.  The smoky room is unsurprising.  What is surprising is the amount of stuff found in the vaping test: jack squat.

The researchers compared the constituents of room air during passive vaping to those present during passive smoking. During passive smoking, levels of chemicals were as follows (all in micrograms per cubic meter):

Nicotine: 34

Acrolein: 20

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: 9.4

Carbon monoxide: 11

Xylene: 0.2

Toluene: 1.7

The detected levels of these same chemicals during the passive vaping session were as follows:


Acrolein: 0

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: 0

Carbon monoxide: 0

Xylene: 0

Toluene: 0

via The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary: First Study to Examine Passive Vaping Under Real-Life Conditions Finds No Chemicals of Concern in Room Air.

The link above connects to Dr. Siegel’s excellent summary of the experiment, so it’s definitely worth a visit. I’m sure now this will put an end to all the public use e-cigarette ban nonsense and prohibitionists will promptly apologize.  And yes, unicorns will then fly around the rainbow planet.

Lack of Innoation Causes eCig C-Stores Slowdown

Convenience industry site CSPNet published a monthly e-cigarette industry roundup. There was quite a bit of the same the same 5 companies kept mostly in the same top 5 spots. Most of the stuff you find at gas stations are disposables, and so on.  However, there were a couple of interesting nuggets.  First of all there are signs that starter kits may one day knock the disposable off its pedestal. Second, the category might be slowing down a bit thanks to a lack of innovation.

While e-cig growth remains a big story, there is a bit of caution in Herzog’s assessment.

“The growth of the e-cig category seems to actually be decelerating a little in the last few months, which is a bit surprising,” she said. “It shows that innovation needs to improve. But we have a lot of smaller manufacturers bringing new technology to the market soon, which will help.”

Judy Hong, tobacco and beverage analyst with Goldman Sachs in New York, said she’s surprised by how quickly the e-cig market appears to be consolidating at the top. “You have three players—blu, Logic and NJOY—now accounting for more than 80% of the market in terms of dollar share.”

via E-Cigarette Leaders Holding Share | CSPnet.

What would be really interesting to see is what happens to the category in a heavily regulated world.  Will things just sort of plateau, possibly sliding back to traditional cigarettes?

Move Over Smokes, Here Come Vapes

The retail segment is an interesting place to watch the e-cigarette industry pan out. Sure, the styles of products are limited focusing on short term solutions like disposables, but it's still interesting. It's the first place many people actually see e-cigarettes, and in many cases the devices have to live with the tobacco cigarettes they may one day overthrow. In fact, when it comes to retail space, tobacco products are already starting to feel squeezed.

Fixture Upper | CSPnet

“Many chains are moving to allocate space from their existing cigarette and OTP fixtures to create a permanent home for this category,” Ed Denk, marketing promotions manager for Swisher (which offers an e-Swisher line of e-cigarettes and cigars) told E-Cig Update. “They recognize this category is not going away and the profit potential it brings.”

“Cigarette lines continue to decline whereas e-cigarette lines continue to grow with great margins,” agreed Miguel Martin, president of the Livingston, N.J.-based Logic Technologies. “They warrant a standalone, top-down fixture.”

Many retailers are assuming the retail world will eventually go what they affectionately call “non-self-service” displays which means people can't touch the devices. I think at some point we'll see if that extends to the virtual world as well. And at some point I wonder if at least an eGo-style device may make its way to the limited special e-cigarette case.


Wales: Smoking Kills, so Let's Keep it That Way

Public Health Wales took a look at the smoking epidemic and decided the best way to tackle it is to keep doing the same thing. To support this idea, e-cigarettes should be restricted as to not interfere with the current course of denormalization. After all, when efforts seem to have done all they can do, the best way to get over the hump is to keep doing them.

However, she added: “Like regular cigarettes, e-cigs should be prohibited in workplaces, educational and public places to ensure their use does not undermine all of the good work that has gone into smoking prevention and smoking cessation by reinforcing or normalising the habit.”

PHW said one person died from smoking-related illness every 90 minutes in Wales, with smoking the biggest cause of avoidable ill health and early death in the UK.

via BBC News – Public Health Wales calls for public places e-cigs ban.

Why try a disruptive new technology that lets smokers voluntarily stop using tobacco cigarettes when it could threaten the hard work everyone’s done to make smokers look icky?

Turning Up the FDA Publicity Machine

Don’t look now, but it seems that the FDA is starting to come out of hibernation. In addition to a webinar about the CTP, the agency just published a post from tobacco chief Zeller.  Oddly the piece is the sort of thing you’d write shortly after starting a new job, not over half a year later. But never fear the FDA is here to protect the kids with science!

Much of what’s made my experience at CTP so gratifying is that I’ve had the opportunity to build on the strong foundation left to me by CTP’s first director, Dr. Lawrence Deyton. From that foundation, we will continue to move forward, using all the tools available to us in the Tobacco Control Act to transform tobacco for a healthier tomorrow. This is particularly important – especially since each year, more than 300,000 kids under 18 become regular smokers. But we can, and must, change that.

It’s true that tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S., resulting in more than 443,000 deaths every single year. But FDA’s ability to enact science-based regulation has true potential to reduce the huge death and disease toll from tobacco use.

via 20 Years Later: Returning to FDA to Regulate Tobacco | FDA Voice.

I’m guessing this time the groundhog isn’t going to see its shadow and go back to bed.  It may finally be time the genie has been let out the bottle.

New Study to Kick off in Minnesota

Scientists are putting together a study to examine the potential toxic effects of e-cigarettes. As for whether the study intends to skew negative, it's hard to say. One can remain optimistic this would be a neutral study that contributes to the overall body of knowledge.

U of M researchers to measure impact of e-cigarettes

The research is being led by Dorothy Hatsukami, Ph.D., associate director for Cancer Prevention and Control in the Masonic Cancer Center and Forster Family Professor in Cancer Prevention in the Department of Psychiatry, and Stephen Hecht, Ph.D., the Wallin Land Grant Professor of Cancer Prevention in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and member of the Masonic Cancer Center.

They are recruiting subjects for the study right now.

“We want to look more closely at e-cigarette users to understand what they are being exposed to by using these products,” said Hatsukami. “We need to examine both nicotine and other toxicants because despite significant variety among products, even within the same brand, the toxicant exposures presented by these products have not yet been studied.”

Statistics indicate E-cigarette use has doubled in the last three years, with sales for 2013 expected to reach $1.6 billion worldwide. Many users have begun supplementing or substituting regular cigarette use with these products, in an attempt to cut back on hazardous toxins.

Since the researchers don't seem to be interested in acknowldeging previous efforts to study e-cigarettes, I'm not sure I have too much optimisim to spare.


People Who Know Nothing Believe eCig Gateway Theory

A Minnesota survey addressed doctors who tread adolescents and the provider's knowledge of e-cigarettes. If you read through the spin in the article, there's some interesting things to be had. First of all, a fairly small number of doctors even see kids who've tried e-cigarettes. But the alarming thing is that a large number of doctors worry about the gateway effect despite admitting knowing next to nothing about e-cigarettes.

Doctors unaware that more teens are turning to E-cigarettes

While 92 percent of the study respondents were aware of e-cigarettes and most were concerned that e-cigarettes could be a gateway to smoking, 83 percent admitted to knowing little to nothing at all about them. Only 11 percent of respondents had treated a teenager who had used e-cigarettes. In addition, most regarded e-cigarettes as somewhat less harmful than traditional cigarettes and smokeless tobacco and had based their impressions on information from the media or their patients. As a result, 92 percent expressed interest in wanting more evidence about e-cigarette risks and/or benefits so they could be better prepared to counsel adolescents.

So it seems to me that the gateway theory is much more prevalent among those who know little about e-cigarettes. It also seems that teen use of e-cigarettes is exaggerated. Surprising, I know.


Utah Lawmaker Wants to Help Preserve Cigarette Sales

Utah, one of the frontrunners in the local battles to make e-cigarettes less useful is now gnashing its teeth over the phantom menace of teen gateways. One lawmaker has devised a plan to ensure to help out the poor, downtrodden Big Tobacco industry by making sure e-cigarettes are less available to Utah residents.

Rising popularity of e-cigarettes has educators and lawmakers concerned | Deseret News

State Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clinton, said he plans to introduce legislation that would place limits on marketing, including no Internet sales. Ray said he also wants to institute a licensing and compliance process, and wants all age requirements to be the same as traditional smokers.

“Let’s treat it like we would any other tobacco product and just kind of have a level playing field when it comes to those products,” Ray said.

There's more to the article, and it's an interesting read. Not only to see what prohibitionists are up to in one of the most prohibition happy states, but also what advocates are doing there. Utah Vapers is one of the most active local vaping groups because they constantly have to battle to keep vaping one step ahead of the incredibly easily greased wheels of the political machine in that state.

Surprise opposition derails Emanuel’s e-cigarette ban - Chicago Sun-Times

Score one for the vapers in the battle of the city ordinances. What would have been a significant e-cigarette ban in the city of Chicago was thwarted when vapers turned out in force to oppose the legislation.  Not only that, but there were quite a few aldermen in the council which also felt the idea wouldn’t have been great for Chicagoans.

But a surprise outpouring of opposition derailed the mayor’s plan to regulate e-cigarettes as “tobacco products” subject to Chicago’s smoking ban.

That would have moved them behind the counter of retail stores, banned the sale to minors, prohibited adults from smoking e-cigarettes in virtually all of indoor Chicago and empowered the city to license e-cigarette dealers.

Aldermen from across the city questioned whether the vapors from e-cigarettes are any more dangerous to bystanders than a humidifier, a cup of tea or a pot full of boiling water used to cook pasta.

They further argued that the ban would discourage smokers from using e-cigarettes to kick the habit.

via Surprise opposition derails Emanuel’s e-cigarette ban – Chicago Sun-Times.

The aldermen in opposition frequently referred to vapor as water vapor, which may be a little off. But if nothing else, it shows that they weren’t taken in by the anti-vaping carpet baggers that tend to frequent these local city meetings.

Kentucky Poison Control Adds Unecessary Politics to Nicotine Warning

A press release was recently issued by a poison control center in Kentucky.  The release noted there’s been a sharp increase in calls to the poison control center over exposure to the nicotine in e-cigarettes, particularly in children.  This seems to make logical sense as e-cigarettes are becoming more popular, there will be more exposure. It’s very important that parents keep e-cigarette stuff away from the little ones. Fortunately, the center reports not a lot of serious incidents as of yet.

“Parents need to consider these devices as a potential harm to children and, like other poisons, keep them out of reach,” said Stephen P. Wright, M.D., pediatrician and medical director of Kosair Children’s Hospital. “Since e-cigarettes are also unregulated, we don’t know what other toxins may be in them.”

An analysis done by the FDA in 2009 showed that e-cigarettes contain carcinogens and other hazardous chemicals, including diethylene glycol, an ingredient used in antifreeze. Researchers from the University of Athens in Greece found that e-cigarettes, thought by some to be a safer alternative to tobacco smoking, do have a harmful effect on the lungs, as reported in Medical News Today.

“Since the industry is still so new, we don’t yet know all of the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes to the user, in addition to any effects of secondhand vapor,” said Dr. Wright, who is also a professor of pediatrics at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. “While they are touted as a healthier alternative to cigarettes, the jury is still out. We do know that not smoking anything — especially around children — is always the best bet.”

via E-cigarettes cause alarming increase in calls to poison control center.

Since the news wasn’t apparently frightening enough they had to add the extra stuff about the FDA press release, which has no bearing on the more urgent case of nicotine poisoning. By hijacking their message with propaganda, the poison control center risks diluting an important message in the name of some sort of moral crusade.

France Apparently Runs Country Like a School Playground

A French tobacconist recently whined all the way to a French court about e-cigarette companies not being controled by the state monopoly on tobacco products.  Despite not being classified as anything, really, in the country a judge ruled that this move somehow totally broke the pinkie promise the country made to tobacco sellers, and e-cigarette shops shouldn’t be allowed to sell… e-cigarettes.

“If these shops have all their rights, including that of advertising, I don’t see why tobacconists don’t also have those rights,” she said.

On Monday the court in Toulouse delivered a verdict in her favour.

It ruled that despite containing no tobacco, e-cigs were substitute tobacco products, and therefore should be liable to the same laws as tobacco.

Judges ruled that the devices should be subject to France’s state imposed monopoly on tobacco, which stipulates cigarettes and other products can only be sold in registered outlets.

In making the ruling judges rejected the arguments of Esmokeclean that e-cigarettes are not currently subject to any regulations and therefore should not fall under the tobacconist’s monopoly.

The store’s lawyer announced an immediate appeal meaning for the moment the court’s judgement is not applicable.

via French court rules e-cigs are tobacco products – The Local.

Black is black, no takebacks!

States See eCigs as Cash Cows, Not Threat

USA Today recently published an article that seems to get directly to the source of the matter with e-cigarettes.  Many states are beginning to address e-cigarettes, and many more will be doing so next year. The states mostly are leaving things like advertising restrictions to the feds to come up with. Instead the states are dealing with age limits, and more importantly taxes.  After all many states are still a little broke, and lucrative cigarette tax revenue is going down as e-cigarette revenue is going up.

“There is zero, emphasis on zero, justification for taxing e-cigarettes right now,” said David Brunori of the group Tax Analysts, a nonprofit tax analysis group that provides insight to private firms and government agencies. “What this is is a money grab. It’s a way of trying to find revenue to replace lost tobacco taxes.”

According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, state and local tax revenues have somewhat leveled off in recent years as smoking has declined. Collections grew from $7.7 billion in 1997 to $15.8 billion in 2007, but reached just $17.6 billion in 2011, the most recent year available.

Tobacco companies that don’t produce e-cigarettes have often pushed tax parity so their own products are not at a disadvantage. In Minnesota’s case, the state simply said that under its laws, the tax must apply.

via States target e-cigarettes as potential revenue source.

It reminds me of the old cartoons. Imagine a desert island with state lawmakers and e-cigarettes stranded together.  As the days wear on, they start imagining e-cigarettes turning into a nice, juicy steak ready for them to devour.

Great Article til the FDA got Involved

A New York Times opinion piece by a pair of Columbia professors came out as a counter to the negative piece penned by a colleague published in the Post.  The piece points out a lot of the flaws in the current mindset of health proponents and how they got there. Unfortunately, the post takes a dark, yet subtle turn at the end.

Advocates fear that e-cigarettes will serve as a gateway to deadly cigarettes — or sustain smokers in public settings where lighting up is banned. “Waiting to act,” New York City’s health commissioner, Thomas A. Farley, said, “is a risk we should not take.”

But there is a price to such rigidity. Emotion should not rule out harm reduction, even if eradication of smoking is the ultimate goal. Banning vaping in public won’t help. Instead, e-cigarettes should be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration as products “sold or distributed for use to reduce harm or the risk of tobacco-related disease.” The industry can’t be trusted to provide safer products. The historical mistake was not the pursuit of a safer cigarette, but championing that cause with dishonest partners.

via The Case for Tolerating E-Cigarettes – NYTimes.com.

There’s a couple of problems with demanding such a framework.  First, you introduce the same rigidity by involving the FDA who has made clear their stance on e-cigarettes.  Second, the courts already said any sort of medical regulation won’t fly.  But, let’s say that happens.  The problem then is that you remove the independant part of the industry because as analysts agree, only Big Tobacco can survive in such hostile territory. Once you do that, there’s nobody left to keep the tobacco industry honest.

Abstinence Only Crusade Transcends Science

A recent op-ed in the New York Times looked at the insanity of the anti-ecig movement and the zoo that was the hearing on e-cigarettes in the NYC council last week. The author, confounded as to why public health advocates aren’t dancing in the streets decided to ask around. One of the people he asked is Dr. Siegel who pointed out this has become much less about keeping people alive, and more about some kind of moral obligation.

The reason to fear this resemblance, say opponents of electronic cigarettes, is that “vaping” could wind up acting as a gateway to smoking. Yet, so far, the evidence suggests just the opposite. Several recent studies have strongly suggested that the majority of e-cigarette users are people who are trying to quit their tobacco habit. The number of people who have done the opposite — gone from e-cigarettes to cigarettes — is minuscule. “What the data is showing is that virtually all the experimentation with e-cigarettes is happening among people who are already smokers,” says Michael Siegel, a professor at the Boston University School of Health.

Siegel is a fierce critic of tobacco companies, but he’s also not afraid to criticize the anti-tobacco advocates when they stretch the truth. When we got to talking about the opposition to e-cigarettes in the public health community, he said, “The antismoking movement is so opposed to the idea of smoking it has transcended the science, and become a moral crusade. I think there is an ideological mind-set in which anything that looks like smoking is bad. That mind-set has trounced the science.”

via Two Cheers for E-Cigarettes – NYTimes.com.

It sort of reminds me of other abstinence-only crusaders, the ones who oppose any sort of safe sex or birth control. That has been pretty well proven to be unsuccessful. Why is it people just can’t be pragmatic these days?

ALA Wants Michigan Minors to Access eCigs, Lawmakers Suspicious

The ALA has been going on a state-by-state mission to ensure minors have legal access to e-cigarettes. I suppose it makes it easier to argue e-cigarettes are a gateway for youth that way. Michigan is the latest target of this surreal campaign. However the state’s lawmakers don’t seem to be swayed by the unrealistic demands of the anti-smoking group.

Michigan considers restricting electronic cigarette sales, but health advocates don’t like the proposals | MLive.com

Jones, R-Grand Ledge, said “they’re asking for the moon” in trying to add taxes and other regulations, and that all he’s trying to do at this point is to protect children from them. He said it’s a false fear that his legislation would preclude e-cigarettes from other regulations.

“I’m very concerned because I know electronic cigarettes are getting very popular, and they come in flavors like root beer. Obviously I don’t want them to be sold to anyone under 18 so they develop a habit,” Jones told lawmakers at the hearing.

It just seems reprehensible to me that a charity, or anyone, would use kids as pawns to acheive their own goals. What makes it worse is that those goals are in conflict with what’s right for public health.



CASAA Call to Actions This Week

[collapsible_item title=" Click to read CASAA Updates"]

URGENT Call to Action! Massachusetts Bill to Impose 45% Tax on E-Cigarettes and Smokeless Tobacco -- HB 2593 (Hearing 6/25/13!)

This is a syndicated post, which originally appeared at CASAA. View original post.

***URGENT*** (6/20/2013): H.B. 2593 will have a hearing before the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Revenue on Tuesday, June 25th at 10:30 A.M in Room A-2 of the Massachusetts State House (24 Beacon Street, Boston, MA).  It is critical that all CASAA members in the New England area make an effort to attend and testify at this hearing.  If you may be able to attend, please contact us at board@casaa.org. 

Regardless of whether you can attend or not, please respond to the below Call to Action.  E-mails are great, but phone calls and faxes will also help.

Massachusetts: Bill to Tax E-Cigarettes & Smokeless Tobacco at 45% — HB 2593

[full text + legislative tracking]

If enacted, this bill wold:

Tax electronic cigarettes (including those that do not contain nicotine) by redefining “smokeless tobacco” under Massachusetts tax law to include any product “containing, made or derived from tobacco that is intended for human consumption . . . or any component, part, or accessory of a tobacco product.”  

Impose a wholesale tax on all smoke-free products (e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, dissolvable tobacco) of 45%.  E-cigarettes are not currently taxed under Massachusetts law, but enactment of this bill would constitute an 80 % increase for adult smokeless tobacco consumers.  The Massachusetts Department of Revenue will be given the power to decide whether this tax would be applied to e-cigarette disposables, liquid, mods, cartomizers, atomizers, batteries, etc. 

Require e-cigarette vendors to obtain a tobacco retail license to sell e-cigarettes and comply with the same regulations that apply to a seller of real cigarette. Retailers who mix their own e-liquid may also need to acquire a manufacturers license.

Provide that if Massachusetts raises its tax on cigarettes, then the tax on e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco will automatically be raised as well.

If you are from Massachusetts, please also contact your representative and senator in the Massachusetts Legislature and tell them that you’re an e-cigarette or smokeless tobacco user, you vote, and you don’t want the unnecessary tax hike in HB 2593 to become law.

Please call, write, or fax the members of the Massachusetts Joint Revenue Committee below:

1. You oppose HB 2593 because it would impose a new, unwarranted tax on smoke-free electronic cigarettes. Further note that HB 2593 would tax not only e-cigarette disposables and liquid that contains nicotine, but also permits the taxation of hundreds of “components, parts, [and] accessories” like kits, mods, atomizers, cartomizers, and even batteries.

2. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette or smoke-free tobacco product has changed your life.

3. Explain that the purpose of increasing cigarette taxes has been to cover governmental healthcare expenditure caused by smoking and to discourage smoking. But since electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and dissolvables are 98-99% less hazardous than cigarettes, there is no fiscal or public health justification for such a hefty tax.

4. Tell them that this year, committees in the Maine, New Mexico, and Delaware legislatures soundly rejected bills with similar broad redefinitions of “tobacco products.” 

5. Since many/most e-cigarette sales are made online, enactment of this legislation would negatively impact businesses in Massachusetts that sell e-cigarettes, as many consumers would choose to use out-of-state and international online suppliers.

6. Many smokers who switch to less hazardous electronic cigarettes do so because e-cigarettes are less expensive than cigarettes. Increasing the costs of e-cigarettes to that of cigarettes would discourage many smokers from switching to e-cigarettes. It could also encourage some e-cigarette consumers to go back to cigarette smoking.

Members of the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Revenue

Comma delimited e-mail list:

Michael.Rodrigues@masenate.gov; Michael.Rodrigues@masenate.gov; James.Timilty@masenate.gov; Jay.Kaufman@mahouse.gov; Timothy.Toomey@mahouse.gov; John.Keenan@masenate.gov; Marc.Pacheco@masenate.gov; Thomas.P.Kennedy@masenate.gov; <span style="back

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