Hello Fellow Vapers!
Here in Texas, we have the opportunity to take part in the legislative process for proposals on the sale of electronic cigarettes. Two bills have been introduced to the Texas State House of Representatives and the Texas State Senate, and your representatives need to hear your opinion and your feed back.
The first bill has been introduced the the Texas House of Representatives is HB170 and the second that has been introduced the the Texas State Senate is HB97. Both of these bills read very much the same, and while they do put in place some basic things that we are all for such as, requiring consumers be at least 18 years of age to purchase electronic cigarette products, the bills also effectively limit some of the accessibility to electronic cigarette products by enforcing an age verification delivery service. This service would cost businesses or consumers roughly $6 per delivery, and the consumer actually has to be 21 years of age to sign for the delivery. This would cause persons age 18-20 to be unable to order electronic cigarette products online due to the age restrictions, and limits their access to electronic cigarettes products that are an effective way to reduce tobacco harm.
It is our belief that by adding an additional fee and limiting the availability of the electronic cigarette products to adults, this could lead to vaping consumers to go back to smoking traditional cigarettes and effectively increasing tobacco harm. We believe that there has to be a better way to limit the availability of these products to minors while simultaneously not restricting adults on their purchases of our electronic cigarette products!
So please if you have 5 minutes write and email or letter to your representatives, we have provided a draft you below, that you are more than welcome to use, and change as you feel necessary! You can find out who your representatives are by clicking HERE.
This is the mock draft:
City, TX Zip Code
May 5, 2015
The Honorable [Insert Representative’s Name]
City, TX Zip
Dear Representative [Insert Last Name]:
My name is [Insert Your Name] and I reside at [Insert Your Address] in [Insert Your City], Texas.
I am writing you to ask that you oppose new legislation proposed for the sale of electronic cigarettes, by voting No on HB 170 (If contacting a House Representative) HB 97 (If contacting a Senate Representative). While we do agree with some provisions of this bill, such as, age requirements for the sale of electronic cigarettes, other provisions of this proposal can be very damaging to businesses and consumers, as age verification delivery is both expensive, and restricts what ages adults have to be, 21 years of age, in order to sign for their delivery. It is our understanding that adding this to the requirement for online sales would increase the cost of the products by at least $6.00 per delivery of electronic cigarette products, and this cost would be taken either on behalf of the electronic cigarette company, which a large majority of electronic cigarette companies are small businesses owned and operated by families and individuals, or the cost would affect the consumer, those who are trying to reduce harm from tobacco products, placing the financial burden on the consumer could lead them to go back to smoking, or use less effective cig-a-like electronic cigarettes, that have been shown to be less effective. Likewise, it is my understanding that delivery age verification has an age requirement of 21 years of age, in place to accept the deliveries, in this case we are effectively limiting the accessibility of electronic cigarette products to adults who could benefit from using them, in turn we are damaging the positive effects electronic cigarettes have on tobacco harm reduction. A lack of access to these products could drive consumers back to traditional forms of tobacco that are proven to be more harmful than their electronic cigarette counterparts.
I do feel there should be a way to ensure that electronic cigarettes are not getting into the hands of our youth, however, there must be a better way that does not including a price hike, and limiting the products accessibility to some adults.
(You can change the above paragraph to include your personal story with vaping, your thoughts, opinions, or suggestions.)
I appreciate your help and ask that you please send me a response letting me know if you vote No to this bill, or if you have another idea to improve these proposals.
Thank you for your time and considering my request.
[Insert Your Name]
Make sure you spell check your letter, and include your personal thoughts, as these tend to have a bit more weight! Thank you for your help and support during this call to action. For more information on the legislative processes and the proposed regulations for electronic cigarette products you can follow CASAA and you can follow SFATA.
You can also join in the CASAA facebook group, as well as, other facebook groups that promote the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping!