AN ACT RELATING TO CIGARETTE MANUFACTURERS
Link to H 747
This bill would:
Ban the purchase, sales and delivery of e-cigarettes via the internet, phone and mail order, with penalties for each violation of up to 5 years imprisonment, a $5,000 criminal fine and a $5,000 civil fine.
H 747 has been introduced and referred to the House Committee on Human Services. It has yet to be added to the Committee Agenda. Once it has been scheduled, we strongly encourage local electronic cigarette users to attend the meeting. If you would like assistance with what to say, please contact us at [email protected]
Please call or write the members of the Human Services Committee listed below.
What to say:
1. Express support for Section 6 of the bill (H 747) because it would ban sales of electronic cigarettes to minors, but please urge legislators to remove Section 9 from the bill because it would prohibit the purchase, sale and delivery of e-cigarettes via the Internet, mail order telephone or other electronic network, with penalties for each violation of up to 5 years imprisonment, a $5,000 criminal fine and a $5,000 civil fine.
2. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette or smokeless tobacco has changed your life and how the elimination of online access to electronic cigarette supplies would negatively affect you. Tell them that by switching to a smokefree product, you have greatly reduced your health risks.
3. Tell them that banning the sale of electronic cigarettes via the internet does not follow the spirit of the existing law that prohibits the purchase, sales and delivery via the Internet of cigarettes and several other tobacco products.
In 2008, to reduce cigarette tax evasion, Vermont enacted a law (7 VSA § 1010) that prohibits the purchase, sales and delivery via the Internet of cigarettes and several other tobacco products (but not large cigars, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco or shisha/hookah tobacco). Yet the Vermont Health Department reports that, “current smokers rarely purchase cigarettes over the Internet” and that in 2007 “just 4% purchased cigarettes this way.”
According to Attorney General William Sorrell, Vermont’s 2008 banning Internet sales, purchases and delivery of cigarettes and other tobacco products “protects kids, supports Vermont retailers, and brings in tax revenue.” But unlike cigarettes, e-cigarettes aren’t used by youth, aren’t marketed online to evade excise taxes, and aren’t sold by many brick and mortar stores in Vermont.
Section 9 also would decimate e-cigarette vendors in Vermont who sell via the Internet or prompt them to move out-of-state, and could empower the Vermont Attorney General to prosecute out-of-state e-cigarette vendors for selling online to consumers in Vermont, prompting many or most e-cigarette consumers in Vermont to travel out-of-state to purchase the products. As such, Section 9 also would harm Vermont businesses and reduce state tax revenue.
4. Let them know how this law would turn thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens into criminals simply because the only way they can keep from smoking is using electronic cigarettes.
Since thousands (perhaps tens of thousands) of e-cigarette consumers in Vermont purchase the products via the Internet, Section 9 of this bill would turn all of them (very few of whom are even aware of this legislation) into criminals facing outrageously excessive fines and imprisonment.
5. Section 9 of this bill would make it even more difficult for smokers in Vermont to quit smoking.
Cigarette smoking kills an estimated 850 people each year in VT and costs the health care system $233 million. In 2000 the Vermont Health Department established a goal of reducing the adult smoking rate to 11% by 2010. While significant progress was made, the adult smoking rate in Vermont was 15% last year. Research since 2000 has shown evidence that policies of complete nicotine abstinence are proving ineffective and that policies for tobacco harm reduction show greater promise in reducing the health risks of inveterate smokers. Smokers who cannot or will not quit tobacco use should be encouraged to switch to low-risk smokefree alternatives, including electronic cigarettes.
6. Direct them to the CASAA.org website for more information.
Ann Pugh, Chair (D)
67 Bayberry Lane, South Burlington, VT 05403
Sandy Haas, Vice Chair (P/D)
360 S. Main St., Rochester, VT 05767
Anne Donahue, Ranking Member (R)
148 Donahue Dr., Northfield, VT 05663
Lynn Batchelor (R)
165 Beach St., Derby Line, VT 05830
Tom Burditt (R)
1118 Clarendon Ave., West Rutland, VT 05777
Bill Frank, Clerk (D) BILL SPONSOR
19 Poker Hill Rd., Underhill, VT 05489
Eldred French (D)
521 Town Hill Rd., Cuttingsville, VT 05738
Francis McFaun (R/D)
97 Sunset Rd., Barre Town, VT 05641
Michael Mrowicki (D)
299 South Pine Banks Rd., Putney, VT 05346
Matthew Trieber (D)
82 Atkinson St., Bellows Falls, VT 05101
Jill Krowinski (D) appointed 2/2012
State House – Chittenden-3-3, Democratic
27 Spring Street
Burlington, VT 05401
Info on appt.: http://www.vermontbiz.com/people/february/gov-shumlin-appoints-jill-krowinski-burlington-house-seat
Representative, Vermont State House, 2012-present
Appointed, Representative, Vermont State House, February 2012