Tag Archives: e-cigarettes

Okla. Stop HB2904! Would classify e-cigarettes as tobacco product, lead to higher taxation

rlc

Kaye Beach

Feb. 25, 2014

Oklahoma Vapors phone calls, emails needed today to stop HB 2904

HB 2904 is scheduled to be heard in the House Judiciary committee today at 3PM.

HB 2904 by Rep. Ownbey would define electronic cigarettes as a tobacco product opening the door to higher taxation on vapor products.

Please contact members of the House Judiciary Committee members and ask them to please vote NO on HB 2904!

Tell them to keep lifesaving vapor products accessible and affordable for smokers.  (Copy and paste email addresses below)

Vaping is NOT smoking and vapor products should not be treated like tobacco cigarettes

Here is my email to House Judiciary committee members:

Dear Representative,

I am a 30 year, pack a day smoker.  I have failed at every attempt to quit until I tried a personal vaporizing device.  I have not touched a cigarette in over six weeks.  I consider this technology to be a literal lifesaver for myself and other smokers.

HB2904 opens the door to higher taxation on electronic cigarettes.  This is wrong! We should keep vapor products accessible and affordable for smokers so that more people may improve their health and longevity.  Electronic cigarettes do not contain tobacco and are estimated to be 99% safer than smoking.

Please vote NO on HB 2904!

You can call House Judiciary Committee members at House Switchboard 800-522-8502 and 800-522-8506.  (Just ask for the Representative you wish to speak to and the operator will connect you)

Chair Rep. Osborn, Leslie 

Vice Chair Rep. Stiles, Aaron

or Email them in one blast by copying and pasting the emails below.

House Judiciary Committee Members:
leslie.osborn@okhouse.gov; aaron.stiles@okhouse.gov;  ; scott.biggs@okhouse.gov; jon.echols@okhouse.gov; randy.grau@okhouse.gov; scott.inman@okhouse.gov; dennis.johnson@okhouse.gov; fred.jordan@okhouse.gov; stevemartin@okhouse.gov; charles.mccall@okhouse.gov; mark.mccullough@okhouse.gov; richardmorrissette@okhouse.gov; tom.newell@okhouse.gov; bensherrer@okhouse.gov; emily.virgin@okhouse.gov ; cory.williams@okhouse.gov

Oklahoma Vapers call to Action Calls, E-mails needed in support of SB 1892

Kaye Beach

Feb. 17, 2014

**Update**  Feb. 18, 2014  The bill is SB1892 not SB1852 as I had listed.  Sorry about that.

SB 1892 passed the Senate Finance committee today  but due to a minor snafu the title was stricken.  The bill will have to go to conference committee for title to be restored.  If all that sounds confusing, the bottom line is that it will end up before the committee and have to be voted on again.  This should happen shortly and so if you didn’t get your calls or emails in, it wouldn’t hurt to do so now.

Will update again as soon as there is any movement on this bill.  Thank you!

SB 1892 will be heard in the Senate Finance Committee tomorrow morning at 10:30 AM in Rm 535

Call or email the Senate Finance committee members tonight or first thing tomorrow morning and tell them to vote YES on SB 1852!

Electronic cigarettes and vapor products are NOT tobacco and should not be categorized as such.  SB 1852 defines “vapor products’ separately from tobacco products and does not allow vapor products to be taxed like tobacco products.  This is GOOD!  It keeps the safer option of ‘vaping’ accessible to more smokers who have been unable or unwilling to quit smoking.

Briefly tell the committee members how you or your loved ones have benefitted from using a personal vaporizing device.  Ask them to vote YES on SB 1852 and thank them for their time.

Here is the Oklahoma Vapor Advocacy League’s Alert on SB 1852.  (Find out more about OVAL at http://ovalok.org)

oval alert sb 1852

You can email the Senate Finance committee members in one swoop by copying and pasting their emails as provided;

mazzei@oksenate.gov; Brinkley@oksenate.gov; Aldridge@oksenate.gov; dahm@oksenate.gov; david@oksenate.gov; fordj@oksenate.gov; halligan@oksenate.gov; johnsonc@oksenate.gov; jolly@oksenate.gov; mcaffrey@oksenate.gov; simpson@oksenate.gov; sparks@oksenate.gov; treat@oksenate.gov

You can call the Senate Finance committee members by dialing the Senate Switchboard and asking to be connected to the Senator you wish to speak with.   Senate switchboard (405) 524-0126

Senate Finance Committee Members are as follows:

Senator Mike Mazzei – Chair
Senator Rick Brinkley – Vice Chair
Senator Cliff Aldridge
Senator Nathan Dahm
Senator Kim David
Senator John Ford
Senator Jim Halligan
Senator Constance Johnson
Senator Clark Jolley

Senator McAffrey
Senator Frank Simpson
Senator John Sparks
Senator Greg Treat

Clearing the Air on the Oklahoma E-cigarette War

Kaye Beach

Feb. 11, 2014

Recently I wrote an article for The Oklahoma Constitution on the politics and money behind the e-cigarette bans in our state.

Many credible health experts have also noted a curious imbalance regarding the claims made by some public health advocates about
e-cigarette health dangers. . . .  Judging from the reaction to the sudden spate of prohibitions on vaping in our state, the public t buying the hype either. What most people want to know is,  why are they being banned? Who is being hurt by the use of an electronic cigarette? . . . This innovative technology is not a threat to public health but is a grave threat to the entire multi-billion tobacco industry as it exists today.

. . .You’ll find TSET grant funding everything from OETA to bike racks, but let’s look at the “Communities of Excellence in Tobacco Control” incentive grants that are driving the vapor bans.

You can read the article ‘Clearing the Air on the Oklahoma E-cigarette War’ in its entirety  at The Oklahoma Constitution.

Also, you may want to see this rebuttal to the OK. State Dept. of Health’s alarmist e-cigarette advisory. FINAL OSDH rebuttal 2 9 2014

And if you haven’t done it yet, subscribe to The Oklahoma Constitution!

‘Vape Ban Warning’ Issued for 26 Oklahoma Counties

super cell 1

Kaye Beach

Jan. 25, 2014

Feb 11, 2014 UPDATE: On Feb. 10th the TSET apparently decided to revamp their entire website and all of the informative links below were rendered dead.  THANKFULLY the Internet has a very long memory and all links were restored on Feb 11th via The Wayback Machine.

 

An electronic cigarette or personal vaporizer (affectionately known by its fans as a ‘vape’) is a battery-operated device that heats a liquid containing nicotine (but not always) and various flavors to produce,  not smoke, but vapor, thus eliminating tar and toxins associated with burning tobacco cigarettes.   Thousands of Oklahomans have switched from smoking to vaping, potentially improving their health and longevity.

The good news about this safer alternative to smoking is being clouded by a potent mix of financial and political interests making conditions ripe in 2014 for potentially disastrous vaping bans and other dangerous political phenomena such as unreasonable taxation of vaping products.

Oklahomans should be advised that the political environment may turn treacherous at any moment.

At 4:59  PM CT AxXiom for Liberty’s Nanny State Prevention Service has issued a Vape Ban Warning for the following Oklahoma counties:

vape ban watch

The previous  state-wide Vape Ban Watch is now upgraded to a Vape Ban Warning for these counties.

TSET funds at work

Residents of these twenty-six Oklahoma counties are advised to expect a whirlwind of TSET funded anti-tobacco coalition agitation at the city level, accompanied by media saturation of anti-electronic cigarette propaganda, local political maelstroms, and SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) team activation.

Immediate city level organization is necessary to  protect life and property from dangerous government overreach.

Don’t wait until the vape ban is on top of you – take your  big government precautions now!   

Oklahoma TSET Communities of Excellence In Tobacco Control

Communities of Excellence in Tobacco Control FY 13 budget: $6 million (Source: TSET Program Fact Sheet)

A Vape Ban Watch means that conditions are favorable to the formation of e-cigarettes and vaping bans.  85% of Oklahoma has been under the Vape Ban Watch since last fall when the same political influences that threaten areas in 2014 produced damaging bans in Oklahoma communities such as Shawnee, Ada and others.

Sporadic outbreaks of vaping bans and e-cigarettes prohibitions this fall prompted vigilant vapers and other Oklahomans leery of the nanny state  to take action on impending bans.  Oklahoman’s may feel overwhelmed by sudden storms produced by the explosive combination of cold cash and hot air but as the residents of Tahlequah demonstrate, citizen preparedness and quick action can save the day.

Be proactive.  Call your city council member now and tell them that TSET bribes are not a good reason to ban vaping!

Please remain vigilant.  Under normal circumstances, community health coalitions are relatively benign and even helpful entities but when fueled by tobacco settlement funds granted by the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, these entities can coalesce becoming supercells that produce twisted efforts that can devastate opportunities for Oklahomans to improve their personal health.

tobacco free coalitions TSET

Right now these coalitions are primed to start firing off  Vaping Bans in cities that fall under the 26 county (highlighted in green pg 31-33)Vape Ban Warning area.

Detail is as follows:

These twenty-six Oklahoma counties are part of a ‘Communities of Excellence’ coalition/consortium and are  eligible for TSET Communities of Excellence in Tobacco Control funding for  fiscal year 2014.

In 2014, flush with tobacco settlement cash extracted from predominately low-income smokers, the TSET has doubled the grant funds available to communities as part of the Healthy Communities Incentive Grant for Tobacco Control.

If you live within one of these twenty-six  counties, chances are good that your city will be targeted by one or more TSET funded anti-tobacco groups operating in your area in over the course of this year.  TSET has set aside 4.1 million dollars in 2014 just to fund the anti-tobacco coalitions that you will find agitating for the Vape Bans.  (Page 3 http://www.ok.gov/tset/documents/RFPCXTC_1_Nov_25.pdf )

‘Additional grant money of $42,000 would be granted to Choate’s group as part of TSET’s Communities of Excellence in Tobacco Control.

An amount of $200,000 is received annually by her group from the tobacco settlement.

She emphasized that it is not money that motivates them to push ecig ban.’

(Reported by North West Watch http://www.northwestwatch.org/news/speculations-that-money-push-council-to-ban-ecigarettes/)

These health related coalitions work within our communities to promote public health education and policies that many of us welcome and support but the TSET and it’s partners have decided to focus in on eradicating the imaginary scourge of e-cigarettes and are funding the coalitions to be the tip of the spear in this misguided effort.  Given the well established and devastating effects of smoking, redirecting health activists’ efforts away from this and other pressing health concerns can only be described as perverse.

turning point coalition e cigarette

Coalition applicants must develop work plans to address five (required) Core Indicators defined in TSET’s 2014 Request for Proposals (RFP) for Communities of Excellence in Tobacco Control funding. (Page 24 http://www.ok.gov/tset/documents/RFPCXTC_1_Nov_25.pdf)

Required “Core Indicator 1” is a city-wide tobacco-free policy which is defined to include e-cigs/vapor products.

CI red lined

Pg 25 http://www.ok.gov/tset/documents/RFPCXTC_1_Nov_25.pdf

Oklahomans fed up with the ever encroaching nanny-state would do well to inform themselves by spending a little time perusing the TSET’s website http://www.ok.gov/tset/    (Well, not so much now since they have removed MANY public information links!) You should get to know these coalitions that are getting their paychecks and marching orders from TSET while professing to represent ‘the community’ and thus YOU!

Each of the twenty-six  counties eligible for TSET tobacco control grants in 2014 are listed below.  They are linked with their respective TSET funding pages that identifies the lead coalition as well as their most recent yearly and cumulative total TSET funding to date.

Coal
End Advisory.
When the political weather heats up, stay tuned to AxXiom for Liberty, we’ll keep you advised.

Gov. Fallin Banishes E-cigs, Promotes Dangerous Drugs Instead

fda approved

Kaye Beach

Dec. 30, 2013

On Dec. 23, 2013 Gov. Mary Fallin issued an executive order (Executive Order 2013-43) banning the use of e-cigarettes or personal vapor devices on any and all property owned, leased or contracted for use by the State of Oklahoma “including but not limited to all buildings, land, and vehicles owned, leased or contracted for use by agencies or instrumentalities of the State of Oklahoma.”

There are many problems with this approach and as a result a backlash is brewing in Oklahoma.

Many are outraged by the action itself apart from the issue of e-cigarettes entirely. Oklahoma is a decidedly populist leaning state and the public generally frowns upon unilateral, un-deliberated decision making such as the edict issued by Governor Fallin in 2012 banning all tobacco use on state property and her most recent arbitrary addition of e-cigarettes (which contain no tobacco)  to the previous ban. It is also arguable that this executive order exceeds the scope of power of the Governors office.

The order becomes effective on Jan 1st, a mere ten days after the governor issued it and despite the order being announced right before Christmas when it could have been overlooked entirely, it has prompted a cadre of Oklahoma citizens (many of whom neither smoke or ‘vape’) to answer the call for an assembly at the state Capitol on Jan. 1st at 1PM to express their disapproval of her unilateral lawmaking and poor reasoning for issuing the e-cigarette ban.

If you want to know more about this event, follow this link to Snuff Out the BAN! 

As of today about 100 (and rising!) Oklahomans have committed to demonstrating their ire with the Governor by showing up at the Capitol on Jan. 1st.  Some of the participants plan to go as far as actual civil disobedience but all will stand in evidence of their disapproval of the governor’s stroke-of- the pen, unilateral lawmaking.

One thing that makes the e-cigarette prohibitions so politically explosive at this time is that the devices are now used widely enough that many people have had some direct or indirect experience with them and have witnessed the benefits.  We have used the devices ourselves or have friends and loved ones, otherwise hopeless smokers, that have succeeded in reducing or quitting smoking with vapor products where all else has failed.  Many have experienced close contact with vapor users and have appreciated the absence of any noxious odor associated with cigarettes and they have shared the enthusiasm of those that have freed themselves from the health burdens of smoking.  We have asked our doctors about using e-cigarettes and have most often been told that ‘vaping’ is far safer than continuing to smoke.

These alarmist statements being made by our public officials regarding vapor devices directly contradict our own experiences as well as defy common sense and as a result, many are beginning to smell a rat. I don’t know if these officials realize it, but their overwrought reactions to the rise in popularity of these relatively benign vaporizing devices is causing them to lose public confidence and personal credibility.

Fallin’s executive order lays out the reasoning behind the ban.  I find the reasoning weak.   A lot of this has been covered in a rebuttal to the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Public advisory on E-cigarettes which can be accessed here.

One faulty point that Fallin uses to justify the need for a ban is the result of an embarrassing misreading of existing e-cigarette research by the Oklahoma State Department of Health.  Executive Order 2013-43 states that secondary e-cigarette vapor contains formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde?!!.

The actual research that the Oklahoma State Department of Health is basing this claim on (see footnotes for their sources) did show a minute increase in formaldehyde that began when the subjects entered the testing room and BEFORE they even began using the e-cigarette.

In the study cited by OSDH the researchers themselves note that the increase in formaldehyde might be caused by the person in the chamber itself, because people are known to exhale formaldehyde in low amounts”

If you want to know more about this, Dr. Farsalinos, a Greek cardiologist and researcher does a great job covering the actual findings of the German study that Fallin and the OSDH are basing their formaldehyde claims on here

Protecting Public Health?

Governor Fallin, by acting in what may appear to be an overabundance of caution, chose to limit the ability to utilize technology that is already helping thousands of Oklahomans successfully reduce or quit cigarette smoking altogether.  She did this without public discussion or debate and without the input of our elected representatives and she did so even though there is little disagreement among scientists, whether for or against, that ‘vaping,’ is much safer than smoking.

 “We have every reason to believe the hazard posed by electronic cigarettes would be much lower than 1% of that posed by (tobacco) cigarettes . . .if we get all tobacco smokers to switch from regular cigarettes (to electronic cigarettes), we would eventually reduce the US death toll from more than 400,000 a year to less than 4,000, maybe as low as 400.” –Joel Niztkin, MD, MPH, DPA, FACPM, Chair, Tobacco Control Task Force, American Association of Public Health Physicians

As pointed out by The McCarville Report, there is no reason to believe that electronic cigarettes present a public health hazard.  Nevertheless, Governor Fallin implemented this ban under the guise of safety and protection of public health.

Given this fact,  it is interesting to note that implicit in Governor Fallin’s new (and ALL tobacco control) policy that deters smokers from using vapor devices as an alternative to smoking cigarettes, is promotion for pharmaceutical smoking cessation products including Chantix which, unlike e-cigarettes, is actually implicated in some truly dangerous adverse side-effects.

OSDH pushing pharma

(Read the resource page for policy implementation for Executive Order 2012-43 at OK.gov. Promotion of the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline that recommends and provides pharmaceutical smoking cessation products is part and parcel of the policy. http://www.ok.gov/health/Wellness/Tobacco_Prevention/E-cigarettes_and_Other_Vapor_Products/E-cigarettes_and_State_Property/)

Chantix is FDA approved but does that mean it is safe?

The FDA itself warns that this drug can cause serious psychiatric problems, including suicidal thinking.  In addition a wide range of side effects attributed to Chantix have been reported including cardiovascular events, diabetes and renal failure.   Source  In 2009, the FDA approved smoking cessation drug, Chantix, was deemed to require a ‘black box’ warning on the label to alert users to dangerous possible side-effects.

chantix black box

As of March 2012 there were approximately 2,500 lawsuits filed against Pfizer over adverse effects of Chantix.

How does banishing a product like electronic cigarettes that have no indication of significant adverse effects and instead promoting a drug like Chantix protect the public’s health?

What we are finding when we take the time to research the facts about vapor devices and products, is that something is awry.  E-cigarette bans are not in the best interests of public health. Banning them through executive order is an example of poor policy-making that undermines representative government at best and blatant protectionism for established corporate government partners at worst.