There is not a lot of time to act. In recent months, Congress has moved to ban ecigs in checked baggage. As of this year, in order to travel with your ecigs you are required to carry them with you in carry-on. If connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal has his way, you will not be able to take ecigs on a plane at all. That’s right, this is tantamont to a total travel ban on vaping.
This has come up quickly and unlike anything else our elected lawmakers do, this is actually happening very fast. There is an urgency here and it is very important to get involved and protect our vaping rights from massive erosion. Senator Blumenthal has long been anti-vaping and he has applauded every stern regulation that has been proposed. He has said that ecigs are a threat to worsen nicotine addiction. He makes every stale anti-vaping talking point and now he has managed to get an amendment proposal into bill HR 636. Amendment SA 3547 will ban ecigs on planes.
HR 636 is known as the America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015. The key points of this act have support on both sides of the aisle so this is a bill that could actually go through. It has already passed in the house and is now being considered in the Senate. If the Senate passes the Bill, it goes to the President for a final signature. Amendment SA 3547 is now being considered as an amendment to this bill.
SA 3547 has nothing directly to do with small business taxation but it sure has massive implications for people who have found a refuge from smoking with vaping. Amendment SA 3547 is worded as follows:
SEC. 5032. REGULATIONS RELATING TO E-CIGARETTES.
(a) In General.–Not later than 180 days after the date of
the enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Pipeline
and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration shall, in
coordination and consultation with the Administrator of the
Federal Aviation Administration–
(1) finalize the interim final rule of the Pipeline and
Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued October 30,
2015, pertaining to e-cigarettes; and
(2) expand that rule to prohibit the carrying of battery-
powered portable electronic smoking devices in checked
baggage and in carry-on baggage.
(b) Definition.–In this section, the term “battery-
powered portable electronic smoking devices” means e-
cigarettes, e-cigs, e-cigars, e-pipes, e-hookahs, personal
vaporizers, and electronic nicotine delivery systems.
If this Bill passes with this Amendment, you will no longer be able to take your vape with you on a plane.
What Can You Do To Protect Vaping?
You can do something to protect your right to vape. Email your Senator and ask them to vote against Amendment SA 3547. CASAA has prepared talking points and we will include a link below so you can access those points and find your Senator’s email address.
In your email, it is always good to include a little about your own personal success story with electronic cigarettes. Let’s face it, unless your Senator has firsthand experience with vaping, his or her opinion is likely to have been affected by the massive amounts of mass media misinformation. A real human story of vaping may open their eyes to the real perspective of what vaping means in the fight against smoking.
It is good to be passionate in communications but not angry. A respectful, honest message is going to be better received than a rant. We all know how anti-vaping people behave so let’s be better than them. We can be honest because the truth is on our side. So, communicate well and respectfully. Think with helping your Senator understand the implications because as mentioned, chances are they do not understand the issue very well at all.
There is an urgency here as this Amendment could be voted on anytime.
UPDATE: YOU WON!
Good news vapers! If you were one of the thousands who contacted your representative regarding this flawed amendment, you won this fight. Members on both sides of the aisle defeated Amendment 3574. This is what we can do as a community to have our voices heard. We conducted this movement with truth and dignity. We will need more of the same going forward. You did it.
Our attention now turns to HR 2058. Introduced by Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, HR 2058 blocks the FDAs arbitrary Feb. 2007 grandfather date for vaping products. As it stands, the FDA will ostensibly ban the majority of vaping products currently available to you as a smoker is search of alternatives. CASAA has a lot of information on you can can win this fight, too. We must keep moving because anti-vaping forces are well-funded and very connected. Let’s keep the movement moving.