It isn't just your vape privilege, its your VapeRite.
What’s going on with legislation in Georgia in regards to electronic cigarettes?
Did you know about HB907. Hopefully if you know about it, you have looked into it a little bit. If not, here is a link to a basic summary of the bill:
Georgia has also proposed a resolution (which is similar to a bill) called HR1247 that would assign a committee to study electronic cigarettes in order to draft bills for our industry. Here is an update from GSFA and their lobbyist team on HB907 and some thoughts on HR1247:
“Lobbyist Update - 2/24 @ 11:50am
It appears that HB907 is dead for now and will not make it back into committee. The second bill that was being drafted also appears dead and has still not been assigned a number. Just a few more days until the session ends (Feb. 29th). HR1427 is a house resolution so it does not have the same time constraints as a bill. This is still moving forward and we are waiting on confirmation on when it may make it to a committee. We are still working on having some language changed or better yet have it killed all together. A side note to HR1427. The lobbyists group that was pushing HB907 has contacted our team. They oppose HR1427 and the study commission that would be created. This sort of makes senses to me personally. The more educated our representatives are, the harder they are to dupe into bad legislation. We can only hope. Stay alert. We will have additional updates as they become available.
When the session ends we will still have a lot to accomplish and our lobbyists will be key. Funding, additional members and support are still needed. Encourage your favorite shops to join in the fight and join the GSFA.” –Jason Wells, GSFA
So, what can you do to help?
The easy answer is to stay educated about what’s going on through the GSFA website ( gasmokefree.org ) or the GSFA page on Facebook. If you do that you will be able to educate your friends and family and let them know what they can do to help the large population of people who use electronic cigarettes as a harm reduction from traditional cigarettes. You can also, as a consumer, contribute by signing up for a GSFA individual membership. It’s a $30 fee to join and they send you a cool little membership card.
Where does your money go if you donate to or join GSFA?
Most of the contributions go to funding the lobbyist firm. Fully funding the lobbyists for 2016 will cost around $70k. That’s a lot but it has proven to be well worth it in the last few weeks. The lobbyist firm has played a big part in HB907 being close to dead. Also, keep in mind that HB907 would nearly eliminate the sale of import juices in Georgia, so that should let you know how important all of this is to our everyday lives in relation to vaping.
So stay educated, keep others educated and help smokers have the same easy access to electronic cigarettes that all of us had. Remember, you can help save lives!
We're asking all vapers to educate and take action on upcoming regulation and legislation regarding vaping. On this page, we will cover what's happening, what we're doing on our end to help, and how you can get involved.
THE TIME HAS COME! Please submit your testimony here, let the FDA and Congress know what e-cigs did for you! Click here.
First up, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is proposing a few regulations. We're taking this directly from CASAA's website here. The gist of them are:
- - In 2010, a federal court ruled that FDA could not regulate e-cigarettes as medicines unless therapeutic claims were being made in marketing. It suggested that the FDA had the option of asserting authority over them as tobacco products. (Contrary to how it is sometimes interpreted, the ruling did not give FDA that authority directly, nor did it say they had to take it.) That assertion of authority is what is happening now.
- - There is no serious doubt that, under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (TCA), that the FDA has the authority to regulate the nicotine liquids currently used in electronic cigarettes. There is no point in trying to argue that these products are not technically tobacco (they clearly meet the definition of "tobacco" products in the TCA), nor that FDA cannot do this (they can). There are, however, arguments to be made that FDA should not exercise its available authority (either in whole or in part).
- - FDA has a great deal of flexibility about how they regulate tobacco products that are already under their purview, as well as the products that they are in the process of deeming to be tobacco products. However, the TCA imposes some limits on their flexibility. (The full details of how those break down are complicated, but it is useful to just know that this is the case.)
- - Specifically, declaring various products to be tobacco does not mean that they will all be treated the same. Unfortunately, the low-risk products that FDA already regulates (smokeless tobacco) have basically been treated the same as cigarettes.
- - One of the biggest concerns about the FDA process is that it is already broken. The main approval process that e-cigarettes and other new products would have to go through is already in place for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, and it is failing miserably, with an enormous backlog of applications that they have failed to act on. Moreover, the separate approval process available for introducing a product because it is low risk, or allowing low-risk claims to be made, is so onerous that it has never been applied.
- - The deeming regulation process is slow-moving. There is a 75-day comment period (which we hope will be extended), followed by some time for FDA to issue the final regulations. If the final regulations are similar to the draft, there will be two years after that before the most harmful provisions take effect.
- - However, other rules could be issued during that two year grace period. For example, the draft regulations overtly seek comments that would provide justification for banning flavors.
- - It seems likely that the details will ultimately be decided by the courts. It is important that the messaging be done with that in mind.
Oh no! How can I help?
- - Join CASAA (ITS FREE) and encourage others to do so as well.
- - Submit your story to CASAA testimonials project.
- - Join the CASAA forum on ECF, Facebook, and Twitter to get important info.
- - Wait to submit full comments to FDA
- - The FDA took more than 3 years to issue the proposed regulations. They have 99 different requests (by CASAA’s count) for information about products.
- - The first call to action is for CONSUMERS to request a 105-day extension of the comment period, requesting a total of 180 days to make comments.
- - Below is a suggested letter – you are encouraged to edit to accurately reflect your views and circumstances – along with instructions on how to request the extension.
- - This request does to prevent you from later offering a substantive comment, and should not affect your comment at that time in any way.
What's VapeRite doing to help?
- - First off, we're making sure you're all are aware of what's going on, how this effects you, and what time frame we're looking at. We believe wholeheartedly in vaping and vapers' rights. We are educating customers in our retail stores, putting the word out there about what's going on, and making sure we're available if you all need anything from us to help you get involved. If you think we can do something more to help this situation, absolutely reach out and let us know.
- - Secondly, we're petitioning for more time from the FDA. We were shorted on time for FDA commentary by 105 days. That's 105 days would could have to help the vaping community get involved and active in the world of regulations.
- - We're attending meetings with national and regional vaping community members to join together to create a stronger voice in the regulations. We've already met and linked up with so many other incredible vendors, advocates, and voices and we are looking forward to creating the best possible solution to regulations and the FDA.
- - We're here, writing this, right now because we believe in the power of YOU. It YOUR voice that will get drowned out by these regulations. Its YOUR right to vape that will be effected by these regulations. So here we stand, giving you as much information as we can, so we can work together on this.
Second Call to Action for FDA Proposed Regulations - Consumer Comment on Paperwork Reduction Act
This Call to Action as ended.
Third Call to Action for FDA Proposed Regulations - Demand Congressional Hearings Investigating FDA and CDC's Actions
On Thursday, May 8th, CASAA released the Overview of its Action Plan Regarding Proposed FDA Regulations.
- On May 11, 2014, CASAA released the first of several Calls to Action anticipated in CASAA's Action Plan.
- On May 21st, CASAA released the second Call to Action.
- The First Call to Action is still active, so if you haven't yet participated, please do so now. The Second Call to Action has now concluded.
This is the Third Call to Action in CASAA's Action Plan.
We have created a campaign through CASAA's CQ Roll Call program, which will enable to you to directly contact your elected federal legislators (House and Senate). Click here for the CQ Roll Call Campaign for this Third Call to Action.
You will be asked for your name, mailing address, email address, and telephone number. All of this information is required by the program in order to find your elected representative and senator and to deliver the email to them. (CASAA does not share its email list or membership list, so the personally identifying information you enter will only be available to CASAA through our database and to the recipients of your email.)
The first and last part of the email is not editable. It ensures that a consistent message is sent to Congress by all CASAA members. The middle portion of the email, however, is completely editable by you, and you should feel free to make whatever kinds of edits you wish. We particularly encourage you to edit the email so as to add a brief paragraph (perhaps two to three sentences) sharing your personal story.
If you plan to substantially edit the email, you may wish to copy the text into a word processing program and make the edits there, then copy and paste back into the CQ Roll Call email. We have had two reports over the last several months that CQ Roll Call might "reset" when you keep the window open for a long time or when you open a separate browser window, causing you to lose any unique text you've added (and reverting back to the original).
(1) Call the White House! Urge President Obama to demand that the FDA re-work their deeming regulations to allow most vapor products to remain on the market. We have provided talking points HERE.
White House: (202) 456-1111
Alternate Number: (202) 456-1414
(2) Send a Message! While you’re waiting to be connected to the White House (or after you’ve completed your call), please send a message to your US Representative and Senators urging them to support and co-sponosor HR 2058.
Support HR 2058 - Send an Email
(3) Join CASAA! It’s easy, it’s free, and we will keep you up to date on information and opportunities to take action to protect your access to vapor products.
Click to Join CASAA
(4) Register To Vote! Millions of vapers, including YOU, have the power to influence government decisions by electing candidates who support vaping!
Click to Register to Vote
(5) Tell your story! Please visit CASAA’s Testimonials Project and tell us about your experience with low-risk, smoke-free products like e-cigarettes and snus.
Click to Submit Your Story
Here's a sample letter, please edit as appropriate:
Dear Mr. Zeller:
I am writing as an individual consumer to request an extension of the comment period for the Food and Drug Administration's ("FDA") Proposed Rule Deeming Tobacco Products to be Subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as amended by the Family Smoking and Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (the "Proposed Rule") published at 79 Fed. Reg. 23,142 and Federal Register No. 2014-09491. On behalf of myself, I am requesting that the comment period for the Proposed Rule be extended by the FDA for an additional 105 days, from its current 75-day period, to 180 days.
The Proposed Rule raises a number of significant issues and questions that are important and relevant to me, as a consumer of products that are proposed for regulation under the Proposed Rule. The Proposed Rule asks about a hundred different questions I might want to respond to. I want to provide my thoughts and comments on many of these issues, but my time to devote to researching and providing thoughtful comments on these important questions is limited. I have already spent many hours researching and dissecting these issues, but they take time. I know that the FDA took many years to even come up with the Proposed Rule, so I do not think it is at all unreasonable to allow the public a mere six months to comment on it. This is our only opportunity, as consumers, to provide our feedback.
I feel very strongly about e-cigarettes as an alternative to combustible cigarettes. Quite simply, I firmly believe that they saved my life. I wish to provide you with my personal story, as well as science- and evidence-based responses to your questions so that you can take my comment into account. I realize that the FDA has the authority under 21 CFR 10.40 to extend this time frame and that the FDA has exercised this authority on numerous occasions in the past. I would therefore ask that you do so here, so that all stakeholders have the opportunity to provide their comments on this proposed regulation.
I appreciate your consideration of my request and am happy to discuss this issue with you further.
And here are some instructions on how to make the request:
1. Create a document with your comment. You can use the above sample letter as a template and edit to make it your own.
2. Access the comment form for the deeming regulation (FDA-2014-N-0189-0001): FDA Comment Form
3. Click in the Comment field and copy and paste your comment from Step 1 into the box.
4. Click in the First Name field and type your first name.
5. Click in the Last Name field and type your last name.
6. If you wish to allow FDA to contact you, click to check the "I want to provide my contact information" box. Otherwise, leave this box unchecked. When you check this box, fields are displayed for you to enter your ZIP code and email address.
7. Click to uncheck the box, "I am submitting on behalf of a third party."
8. Click the arrow next to the "Category" field to display a menu.
9. Select a category from the menu. We recommend "Individual Consumer".
NOTE: FDA has traditionally taken the position that "Individual Consumer" comments will not be published on the Regulations.gov website due to privacy concerns. There has been some criticism of this position, and FDA has indicated that it will be publishing "Individual Consumer" comments on the website, although it intends to only publish the individual's first name. Any identifying information you provide in the Comment field will potentially be visible on the website, so we recommend that you NOT include your name, address, phone number, or email address in the Comment field.
10. Click the Continue button. After clicking on the Continue button, you will have an opportunity to review your statement and, if you wish, edit it. (The Edit button is just to the right of the Submit Comment button in the lower right-hand side of the page.)
11. On the Your Preview page, click to check the box "I read and understand the statement above."
12. Click the Submit Comment button.
13. After submitting your comment using the comment form, a confirmation page will appear with your Comment Tracking Number. We recommend that you print the page AND email this comment number as directed in Step 14 below. (You may wish to copy the entire page into an email to yourself, which you can then forward as directed in Step 14 below. Copying the entire page and emailing it to yourself will ensure that you have a copy of your comment and comment number.)
14. Please send the comment number to firstname.lastname@example.org. It is important that CASAA have a count of how many such requests have been made. (You may, if you wish, include a copy of your comment, but that is not necessary because all we really need is the comment number.)