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NJ – Stop the Flavor Ban!

Image result for NEW JERSEY flavor ban

According to New Jersey’s vapor industry association, bill that would ban the sales of flavored vapor products are back on the agendas of appropriations committees this week. Once past committee, the flavor ban bills will be voted on by the full Senate and Assembly and sent to Governor Murphy for his signature. Governor Murphy has already indicated that he will approve a flavor ban law.

Here are the details for the meeting and what New Jersey vapers need to do in order to Stop The Flavor Ban:

First – On Tuesday and Wednesday, please make contact with committee members (preferably by phone) and urge them to oppose A.3178 and S.3265 which would ban the sale of flavored vapor products. Phone numbers and individual email addresses are provided below.

Second – Make plans to attend one or both of the committee hearings on Thursday. Even if you do not plan to speak, your presence is important as it demonstrates the large numbers of people affected by this issue. Meeting details are below.

 

Meeting #1:

Thursday, January 9, 2020
9:30 AM
Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee

Committee Room 4, 1st Floor
State House Annex
Trenton

Meeting #2:

Thursday, January 9, 2020
1:00 PM
Assembly Appropriations Committee

Committee Room 11, 4th Floor
State House Annex
Trenton

 

Third – These bills are likely heading to floor vote, so it is vitally important that every lawmaker in Trenton hears from their constituents that these bills should be rejected. Use the form provided in this call to action to send a message to your Senate and Assembly members.

Take Action – Send a Message

Fourth – Share, Share, Share! We need all of New Jersey to get involved.

 

Points to include in your emails, phone calls, and spoken comments:

  • Briefly, share your story about switching to vaping and what role that flavors played in helping you switch.
  • Note any health changes you’ve experienced.
  • Briefly, discuss what losing access to local vape shops will mean for you (Will you shop out-of-state, in neighboring cities, or online? Will you make your own e-liquid at home or purchase products on an underground market?).
  • Additional talking points for testimony and emails are available here.
  • Watch these comments from San Diego County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar – YouTube

(Update – 01.06.20)

 

Just before the weekend, New Jersey’s vapor trade association announced that several vapor-related bills were scheduled for a hearing on Monday, January 6. Within 24 hours, the trade association negotiated for these bills to be pulled from the agenda. While pulling anti-vaping bills from the agenda affords everyone a delay, the legislation is almost guaranteed to receive a committee hearing . . . unless we take action.

Lawmakers need to hear from you. All of you. These bills could be rescheduled for a hearing as early as Thursday, January 9.

Please use the form provided to send emails to your lawmakers. New Jersey residents are also encouraged to make contact with committee members (contact information and talking points are provided below).


(Update – 11.15.19)

Flavor Ban legislation (A.3178 and S.3265) has passed the first round of committee hearings and is being referred to Senate and Assembly Appropriations committees. We need to keep the pressure up and continue contacting New Jersey lawmakers right up until the minute these bills are heard in committee. We are expecting committee hearings on the flavor ban bills in early December.

Please take action TODAY by sending a message to your officials urging them to oppose a flavor ban in New Jersey.

Take Action – Click Here to Send a Message!

If you would like to contact members of the committee and do not live in a district represented by a committee member, we are providing contact information, talking points, and a prewritten message below.

(Use this lookup tool to find other contact info
such as social media accounts and phone numbers)

  • (S) Budget and Appropriations Committee
Senator Email Phone Twitter
Paul Sarlo sensarlo@njleg.org (201) 804-8118 @PaulASarlo
Sandra Cunningham sencunningham@njleg.org (201) 451-5100
@SandraBCunningh
Declan O’Scanlon senoscanlon@njleg.org (732) 444-1838
@declanoscanlon
Dawn Marie Addiego senaddiego@njleg.org (609) 654-1498 @8thdistrictleg
Nilsa Cruz-Perez sencruzperez@njleg.org (856) 541-1251 @NJ5thLeg
Patrick Diegnan, Jr. sendiegnan@njleg.org (908) 757-1677
@PatrickDiegnan
Linda Greenstein sengreenstein@njleg.org (609) 395-9911
@SenGreenstein
Steven Oroho senoroho@njleg.org (973) 300-0200 @stevenoroho
Teresa Ruiz senruiz@njleg.org (973) 484-1000
@SenMTeresaRuiz
Troy Singleton sensingleton@njleg.org (856) 234-2790 @LD7Singleton
Samuel Thompson senthompson@njleg.org (732) 607-7580
@SamThompsonNJ
Brian Stack SenStack@njleg.org (201) 721-5263 @mayorstack
Michael Testa SenTesta@njleg.org (609) 847-3600 @Testa4Senate
  • NJ – (A) Committee on Appropriations
Assembly Member Email Phone Twitter
John Burzichelli AsmBurzichelli@njleg.org (856) 251-9801
Gary Schaer AsmSchaer@njleg.org (973) 249-3665 @GarySchaerNJ
Herb Conaway AsmConaway@njleg.org (856) 461-3997 @herbconaway
Wayne DeAngelo AsmDeAngelo@njleg.org (609) 631-7501 @DeAngeloLD14
Gabby Mosquera AswMosquera@njleg.org (856) 401-3073
@Gabby_Mosquera
Eliana Pintor Marin AswPintorMarin@njleg.org (973) 589-0713
Cleopatra Tucker AswTucker@njleg.org (973) 926-4320
Ryan Peters AsmPeters@njleg.org (609) 654-1498 @Ryan_Peters1
Kevin Rooney AsmRooney@njleg.org (973) 237-1362 @KevinJRooney
Jay Webber AsmWebber@njleg.org (973) 917-3420 @JayWebberNJ
Hal Wirths AsmWirths@njleg.org (973) 300-0200 @Space_Wirths

 
Points to include in your emails, phone calls, and spoken comments:

  • Briefly, share your story about switching to vaping and what role that flavors played in helping you switch.
  • Note any health changes you’ve experienced.
  • Briefly, discuss what losing access to local vape shops will mean for you (Will you shop out-of-state, in neighboring cities, or online? Will you make your own e-liquid at home or purchase products on an underground market?).
  • Additional talking points for testimony and emails are available here.
  • Watch these comments from San Diego County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar – YouTube

 



Sample Message you can copy/paste into email forms (2758 characters):
(Please include your personal story about switching to vaping)



I am writing as a voter and a taxpayer in New Jersey urging you to resist the well-meaning but reactionary legislation (A.3178/S.3265) to ban flavored vapor products and other safer alternatives to smoking. There is no evidence that banning flavors will reduce youth experimentation and such drastic action would have unintended consequences that might cause irreparable harm. Forcing legitimate specialty retailers to close will expose consumers to unnecessary risks including shopping on an unregulated underground market and even returning to smoking. I am asking you directly: Do you support banning flavored vapor products or will you help me stand up to cigarette companies and protect my freedom of choice?

Consumers and businesses participating in a legitimate regulated market are vital to addressing the issue of youth access to nicotine. Specialized retailers that sell mainly vapor products serve a dual purpose of providing welcoming spaces for people to learn about the products and setting an example of how age verification protocols can be implemented and strictly followed. This same attention to customer service and regulations is not found in underground markets where peer-to-peer sellers complete transactions by way of social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.

By targeting legitimate retailers and the people they serve, flavor ban legislation is not addressing significant sources of youth access to nicotine products and ignoring any underlying social or personal factors leading young people to seek out risky products and behavior. On the other hand, there is currently a crisis involving people who have limited access to safer nicotine alternatives returning to combustible tobacco. If flavors are banned, cigarette companies and maybe one or two large vapor companies will be all that consumers have to choose from.

Ultimately, a flavor ban on vapor and other nicotine products promotes the erroneous belief that forcing people to “behave” will result in the best possible outcome. In reality, we know that people (of all ages) will find ways around strict regulations in order to gain access to products and activities they enjoy. The most productive policy will equip consumers with accurate information about risks and empower them to make informed decisions about the products they choose to use.

I along with my fellow members of Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) thank you for considering my comments on this issue. Please know that the vaping community are your allies in addressing concerns about youth use and we are open to working toward a positive way forward. I look forward to your response on this issue and I am available for any questions you might have.