Singapore: Four Serve Prison Terms for Selling Vapes


The government of Singapore announced today that it has convicted eight people since November 2020 of selling vaping products, handing out fines and prison terms. A 25-year-old man has been convicted of simple possession and fined.

The eight sellers were fined a total of 172,500 Singapore dollars (about $128,000 U.S.), with one repeat offender sentenced to a week in prison and a S$61,000 fine, according to a press release. The Singapore Health Sciences Authority (HSA) prosecuted the cases, which occurred between November 2020 and February of this year.

Four of those convicted did not pay their fines, and were forced to serve prison sentences ranging from 22 to 122 days.

After prohibiting sales of vaping products in 2011 (with an “imitation smoking product” law), Singapore added a ban on possession and use in 2018. Black market sellers typically find customers on social media, and sell by mail, pop-up websites, or face-to-face meetings.

But despite the bans on sales and possession, the wealthy island nation is home to a thriving black market in vaping devices and e-liquid. Between January 2018 and February 2021, the HSA says it has prosecuted 43 people for sales of vapes. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines have been assessed, including a single fine of S$99,000 (about $74,000 U.S.) for online vape product sales.

Many Asian countries have banned sales of vaping products, often citing the anti-harm reduction position of the World Health Organization (WHO) and its anti-tobacco arm the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) as motivation.

A recent UK parliamentary inquiry recommended that the British government withhold funding to the FCTC in response to the treaty organization’s opposition to tobacco harm reduction measures. The FCTC and the WHO’s other tobacco control operations are heavily influenced by anti-vaping tobacco control organizations funded by American billionaire Michael Bloomberg.

Last month, the nicotine consumer group INNCO published a position paper challenging the Bloomberg-controlled health groups’ opposition to harm reduction. Soon after, a widely read article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy questioned Bloomberg Philanthropies’ influence over tobacco control and its anti-vaping stance.


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Most UK Counties Will Miss 2030 ‘Smoke-Free’ Target


In 2017, the UK’s Tobacco Control Plan listed the government’s plans for a “Smoke Free” England, which aims to reduce smoking rates to 5% or less, and would equate to roughly one in 20 people being smokers. The finalized plan was rolled out in 2019, with a target to achieve the ‘Smoke-free’ status by 2030.

Sadly, recent forecasts are revealing that 97% of England is likely to miss this target, and only 4 out of the 135 existing counties are believed to be on track. These figures were calculated based on current PHE smoking prevalence and quit rates.

Besides the obvious public health implications, this delay is predicted to cost over £40.4 billion in local authority social care and NHS costs. In fact, according to NHS data, there were over half a million smoking related hospital admissions in 2019/2020 alone. This figure is 10% higher than it was a decade earlier.

Cost figures were calculated by using data from smoking cessation charity ASH, and a press release explained that the PHE report study investigated how likely it is that the goal will be reached at a local level, the cost of missing it, and what action can be taken to reach it.

Where in England will be Smokefree by 2030?

Hammersmith & Fulham is set to be the first area in England to hit the government target, 5 years early in 2025. In 2016, the borough was reported to have one of the highest smoking rates in London. Since then its trajectory has changed with a high quit rate – the latest PHE data shows that 7.54% of smokers in the borough quit annually.

Counties to hit the ‘Smoke-free by 2030’ target

Region Area Name Smokers in area (%) Quit rate (%) What year for ‘Smokefree’?
London Hammersmith and Fulham 10.3 7.54 2025
London Westminster 10.5 5.47 2028
North West Wirral 10.7 4.85 2029
North West Sefton 9.5 4.18 2029


Worst performing counties

West Midlands Staffordshire 13.9 0.26 2289
South West Bristol 18.0 0.27 2310
West Midlands Worcestershire 10.8 0.12 2440
London Enfield 15.8 0.31 2816
London Havering 13.2 0.06 2983

Havering in London won’t reach the target until the year 2983 according to the research, with Enfield, Worcestershire, Bristol and Staffordshire also being amongst the worst performing counties.

The smoke-free by 2030 target includes an ultimatum for the industry to make smoked tobacco obsolete. It was set out by the health secretary, Matt Hancock, to combat one of the biggest challenges to living healthy lives, and a major cause of inequalities. ‘Smoke-free’ by government standards is when the smoking prevalence is below 5% of the population.

According to PHE’s 2021 report on vaping, evidence shows that the highest quit rates (74%) were achieved when the attempt involved people using a licensed medicine and a vaping product one after another. In every region in England, quit rates involving a vaping product were higher than any other method. These ranged from 49% in the South West to 78% in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Representatives from the counties are called on to encourage smoking cessation to aim closer to the ‘Smokefree by 2030’ target.

New PHE Report Reaffirms That Vaping is a Gateway Out of (Not Into) Smoking 


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New Mexico Legalizes Recreational Cannabis


New Mexico will become the 18th state to approve legal recreational cannabis when Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signs a bill just passed by the legislature. The vote came on the same day that New York’s governor signed a cannabis legalization bill into law.

Lujan Grisham has indicated that she will sign the bill that passed on March 31 in a special legislative session. The legislature also passed a separate bill that will expunge some previous cannabis convictions.

“This is a significant victory for New Mexico,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said in a statement. “Workers will benefit from the opportunity to build careers in this new economy. Entrepreneurs will benefit from the opportunity to create lucrative new enterprises. The state and local governments will benefit from the additional revenue. Consumers will benefit from the standardization and regulation that comes with a bona fide industry. And those who have been harmed by this country’s failed war on drugs, disproportionately communities of color, will benefit from our state’s smart, fair and equitable new approach to past low-level convictions.”

Legal sales are expected to launch by April 1, 2022. There will be no limit to the number of licenses the state can issue, although the number of producers and dispensaries may be limited later. Microbusinesses with 200 or fewer plants will be allowed to grow, process and sell cannabis with a single license (sometimes called vertical integration).

Additional elements of the new law, according to Marijuana Moment, include:

  • Adults can possess up to two ounces of flower, 16 grams of concentrates, and edibles containing up to 800 milligrams of THC
  • Individual home cultivators can grow up to six mature plants, with a household total of 12
  • Recreational cannabis will have a 12 percent retail sales tax (in addition to New Mexico’s existing 8 percent sales tax). Between 2025 and 2030, the tax will increase 1 percent each year. Medical cannabis will not have an excise tax
  • Municipalities can use their zoning authority to limit the number and location of cannabis businesses, but will not be able to ban them altogether
  • If there is a statewide cannabis shortage after the recreational market opens, the state can force licensed producers to reserve up to 10 percent of their products for medical patients
  • A new agency within the Regulation and Licensing Department, called the Cannabis Control Division, will regulate both the recreational and medical programs

The cannabis industry is expected to bring in $20 million in revenue for the state in 2023, as well as $10 million for local governments, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

Cannabis containing more than 0.3 percent delta-9 THC remains federally illegal, although congressional Democrats hope to pass a bill this year that would legalize marijuana. Legalization in New Mexico means more than one-third of U.S. states have passed bills or voter referendums to approve recreational cannabis. Thirty-eight states have some form of medical cannabis program.

Smokers created vaping without any help from the tobacco industry or anti-smoking crusaders, and vapers have the right to keep innovating to help themselves. My goal is to provide clear, honest information about the challenges vaping faces from lawmakers, regulators, and brokers of disinformation. I recently joined the CASAA board, but my opinions aren’t necessarily CASAA’s, and vice versa. You can find me on Twitter @whycherrywhy


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Democrats: FDA Should Clear Entire Vaping Market During PMTA Process


Over 40 democrats have called on FDA to act. 

WASHINGTON — In one of the first major anti-vaping campaigns for the 117th Congress, House Democrats have all signed a letter asking the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to clear the domestic market of what they view are unregulated deemed tobacco products. 

“Flavored e-cigarettes are putting a new generation of kids at risk of nicotine addiction and the serious health harms that result from tobacco use. And these products are widely available and popular with kids,” states the letter led by Democratic Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL) and Diana DeGette (CO) to Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, according to a press statement. 

Wasserman Schultz et al. argue that products undergoing PMTA reviews should not be sold to the American public until applications are approved.

Under the Tobacco Control Act of 2009, the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products must review every single vaping and deemed tobacco product for such products to remain available to the public. 

In September of 2020, the PMTA deadline for review was reached as literally thousands of products were sent to be scientifically tested to highlight its degree of harm associated with such a product compared to more traditional products like cigarettes. 

In the letter, the lawmakers specifically call on FDA to remove from the market all flavored e-cigarettes that are currently under FDA review, to deny applications for any flavored e-cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products, and to deny issuing a marketing order for any e-cigarette that poses an increased risk of youth initiation or addiction, notes DeGette and Wasserman Schultz and company. 

“Unfortunately, the vast majority of these tobacco products that are undergoing premarket review have already been on the market for several years with observable negative consequences for public health.”

Wasserman Shultz’s office also noted that more than 40 other members of the House of Representatives also signed the letter to Woodcock.

The individuals include Reps. Karen Bass, Joyce Beatty, Ami Bera, M.D., Lisa Blunt Rochester, Julia Brownley, Ed Case, Kathy Castor, David N. Cicilline, Steve Cohen, Angie Craig, Danny K. Davis, Mark DeSaulnier, Ted Deutch, Adriano Espaillat, Bill Foster, Josh Gottheimer, Raúl Grijalva, Jahana Hayes, Mondaire Jones, Kaiali’i Kahele, and Raja Krishnamoorthi.

Others include James R. Langevin, Ted W. Lieu, Jerry McNerney, Grace Meng, Marie Newman, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Chellie Pingree, Jamie Raskin, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Michael F.Q. San Nicolas, Bobby Rush, Mary Gay Scanlon, Jan Schakowsky, Kim Schrier, M.D., Terri A. Sewell, Darren Soto, Haley Stevens, Thomas R. Suozzi, Eric Swalwell, Lauren Underwood, and Bonnie Watson Coleman.

West Virginia Democrats Pushing For Vaping Tax


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Study: Many Smokers Use Smokeless Tobacco Products to Cope With Smoking Areas’ Restrictions


The study titled, “Cigarette smokers’ concurrent use of smokeless tobacco: dual use patterns and nicotine exposure,” looked into the patterns of dual users’ product use and nicotine exposure on days when they used cigarettes exclusively (single use) versus days when they consumed both cigarettes and SLTs (dual use).

Forty-six dual users (cigarettes and SLTs) recorded their product use behaviours in real time via ecological momentary assessment for a 2-week longitudinal design, answering questions related to situational factors (eg. location, mood) using this same diary. Moreover, they collected saliva samples each night for later cotinine measurement, and at the end of the 2-week period, they reported their reasons for and beliefs about SLT use.

The compiled data indicated higher cotinine levels on dual versus single use days. The number of cigarettes logged was higher on dual versus single use days. Product use was distinguished by situational factors, with the strongest predictor being location of use.

The effect of indoor smoking restrictions

An interesting factor that was highlighted was the fact that many smokers was motivated to start using SLTs to make up for not being able to smoke in certain spaces. “The most common reason for initiating (56.52%) and continuing (67.39%) SLT use was to circumvent indoor smoking restrictions.”

“Results support the idea of product supplementation rather than replacement among this convenience sample of dual users. For smokers whose primary motivation for SLT use involves situations where they would otherwise be tobacco free, the potential benefits of clean indoor air laws may be diminished,” concluded the researchers.

Studies Analysing the Effect of Heated Tobacco Systems on Indoor Air Quality


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UK Parliamentary Inquiry Challenges WHO’s Anti-Vaping Stance


A parliamentary study group in the United Kingdom has called on the British government and health authorities to challenge the World Health Organization (WHO) position on vaping at an upcoming international treaty conference. The UK is the largest and most prominent country to advocate for vaping as a harm reduction tool for people who smoke, but until now has not pressed the WHO to change its prohibitionist stance.

The recommendation came in a report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Vaping, issued after a four-month inquiry into the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The FCTC is an international treaty organization with 182 member states that serves as the anti-tobacco arm of the WHO. The parliamentary investigation came in response to the WHO “encouraging and applauding bans on vaping.”

The FCTC’s policy goals (and those of the WHO’s other tobacco control operations) are heavily influenced by private tobacco control organizations like the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and The Union, whose international lobbying and policy work is funded by Michael Bloomberg, an American billionaire and former New York City mayor. Bloomberg is the largest private funder of anti-tobacco efforts in the world, and his money clears a path for the prohibitionist policy demands that inevitably follow.

All of the Bloomberg-funded tobacco control and public health organizations advocate for bans and restrictions on vaping—especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In 2016, Bloomberg was named the WHO’s “Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) and Injuries”—an honorary position that reflects the WHO’s alignment with the moralistic mayor.

But the UK government has largely adopted a pro-vaping stance, encouraging people who smoke to use e-cigarettes as a tool to quit and reduce or eliminate the harms caused by combustible tobacco. In 2015, Public Health England famously pronounced vaping to be “95 percent safer” than smoking—a position PHE has maintained in subsequent evidence reviews.

The British government currently provides 70 percent of the FCTC Secretariat’s funding. The Secretariat is the FCTC’s executive arm and leadership group. In theory, it exists to execute the policies demanded by member countries. But in practice, the opposite is true: members carry out the wishes of the Secretariat, which are the policies promoted by the Bloomberg-funded tobacco control organizations.

The APPG says the UK government should consider “dramatically scaling back” its funding of the WHO and FCTC if the international organizations don’t reconsider their opposition to vaping and harm reduction in general. Harm reduction is supposed to be a pillar of the FCTC’s tobacco control strategy, but that tool has been largely ignored.

The report concludes that the FCTC is no longer “fit for purpose,” meaning that the organization’s strategies and results don’t meet its original objectives. The report says the FCTC must be re-examined, but recognizes that the Secretariat will try to block such an effort.

While the FCTC is no longer fit for purpose, says the report, “it is worth noting that the WHO and the FCTC Secretariat are likely to be a significant block in any attempt to make the FCTC fit for purpose again both now and in the future.”

Indeed, it will be nearly impossible to move the FCTC Secretariat from its current stance, which is wedded to the positions of the Bloomberg-funded tobacco control groups that have controlled it for years. The UK would have to bring other large countries to its point of view in order to convince the FCTC to shift toward vaping and harm reduction. Following the UK exit from the European Union, its influence among other European countries has probably diminished.

The APPG report comes more than seven months before the ninth FCTC Conference of the Parties (COP9), which is scheduled for November 8-13, 2021 in the Netherlands (the conference was postponed from last year because of the coronavirus pandemic). There is plenty of time for the UK health ministry to reconsider its approach before the conference, which is a meeting of all FCTC member countries. The APPG has requested a meeting with Public Health Minister Jo Churchill to discuss the report and recommendations.

The APPG report recommends the UK “should send a balanced delegation of officials and experts that includes proponents of evidence-based policy and harm reduction to COP9.” In previous years, the delegations sent to COPs by the UK Department of Health & Social Care have not opposed FCTC policy recommendations that conflict with the pro-harm reduction positions held by most UK health experts. The APPG report also encourages to health ministry to include consumers, which has been discouraged by the FCTC.

“At the FCTC COP9 the UK has a unique opportunity to champion its progressive, successful and evidence-based, domestic policies on the Global Stage,” said Member of Parliament Mark Pawsey, the APPG chair. “We are a world leader in tobacco harm reduction, and we call on the Government to defend the UK approach, challenge the WHO to stub out their ban on vaping, and help return the FCTC to its founding pillar of harm reduction.”

The APPG on Vaping is made up of members from both chambers of the British Parliament: the House of Commons and House of Lords. The group includes members from the Conservative and Labour parties. It held two public sessions, taking testimony from multiple expert witnesses.


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FDA Issues Warnings to Vape Brands Lacking PMTA


As per the Family Smoking Prevention & Tobacco Control Act, back in 2016 the FDA had announced that all tobacco products would need to apply for and obtain a PreMarket Tobacco Application Authorization (PMTA) in order to stay on the US market.

Since then, the deadline for this application has been moved back and forth a number of times, until on April 3rd 2020, Judge Paul Grimm of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, moved the deadline to September 9th, 2020.

According to the Tobacco Act, all tobacco products need to be authorized for every aspect, including adjustments in packaging, manufacturing processes, and product design. This makes obtaining the authorization very costly and time-consuming leading many smaller vape businesses into bankruptcy or insurmountable debts.

Warning letters

Meanwhile, the FDA has issued its first set of warning letters to firms who have not yet submitted their PMTAs and are therefore selling unauthorized products.

In a release on its website, the agency explained that for companies that submitted applications by the set deadline, the FDA generally continues to defer enforcement for up to one year pending review, unless there is any required action.

PMTA data made public

Moreover last September, the agency had also announced that the normally secretive process will be made public, and the agency will be publishing a list of firms which had not yet filed their applications. The announcement was made by Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, via a blog post, by which time the agency had already received applications for approximately 2,000 e-cigarettes and other newly regulated tobacco products.

Zeller had pointed out that there were over 400 million that required a PMTA in order to remain on the market and the  warning letters were sent to the following firms: Little House Vapes LLC; Castle Rock Vapor LLC; Dropsmoke Inc.; Perfection Vapes Inc.; CLS Trading LLC d/b/a Vape Dudes HQ; Session Supply Co.; Coastal E-Liquid Laboratory/GC Vapors LLC; Dr. Crimmy LLC d/b/a Dr. Crimmy’s V-Liquid; CMM Capital LLC d/b/a ETX Vape; and E-Cig Barn LLC.

“These warning letters are the result of continued surveillance and internet monitoring for violations of tobacco laws and regulations. We want to make clear to all tobacco product manufacturers and retailers that the FDA is keeping a close watch on the marketplace and will hold companies accountable for breaking the law,” said Zeller.

“The FDA will continue to prioritize enforcement against companies that market electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), including e-cigarettes, without the required authorization but haven’t submitted a premarket application to the agency, including those products with a likelihood of youth use or initiation.

Bantam Spokesperson Sheds Light on PMTA Process


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Canada: Illegal Cigarette Trade Took a Hit Thanks to COVID-Related Border Closures


An Ernst & Young report conducted for the Convenience Industry Council of Canada, pointed out that due to the border closure between Quebec and New Brunswick, the illegal tobacco trade in Atlantic Canada dropped, leading to a hike in legal cigarette sales.

“We’ve always known (illegal sales were) a big problem in Ontario and Quebec, but I think what this really showed was you had another factor for Atlantic Canada, which was, essentially, the closure of the border,” said council president Anne Kothawala in a recent interview.

Significant increases in legal sales

When comparing figures from June 2020 to those in June 2019, Prince Edward Island saw a 47% increase in legal cigarette sales, while New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador both saw increases of over 44%, and in Nova Scotia legal sales were 21% higher.

Since tobacco taxes are much lower in Quebec, traffickers have been known to use New Brunswick as the gateway for illegal cigarette trade into the Atlantic provinces, with the traffic trickling to Nova Scotia and P.E.I., said Kothawala. She suspects that the effects of the border closure between New Brunswick and Quebec will linger until the end of the year, during which retailers will continue to witness higher rates of legal cigarette sales.

Read Further: Global News

Reports: Smoking Rates Increased Due to COVID-19


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Industry Readies for VApril Launch


The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) will launch its forth annual VApril campaign on Thursday 1.

The awareness campaign aims to educate smokers on the benefits of switching to e-cigarettes.

This year’s campaign will once again have a digital focus, with businesses and trade groups nationwide getting involved.

The VApril website features the Switch on to Vaping Plan to help them smokers make the successful switch to the UK’s leading smoking-cessation method.

Smokers can also have their questions answered by an expert panel and benefit from in-store advice when participating shops re-open on April 12.

UKVIA director-general, John Dunne, said:

“With the disruption of the last year, there were reports that there was a smoking comeback.

“We are determined to get things back on track and giving smokers a real choice, starting with VApril 2021 as vape retail stores begin to reopen.

“If you’re a smoker and looking to quit visit our website or visit one of the participating retailers during the month.”

The campaign in backed by former Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones MP.

Jones said:

“E-cigarettes are a very important tool in supporting adult smokers to quit. Communicating the health benefits of less harmful alternatives is essential; and consumer campaigns, such as VApril, can help hugely to achieve Smokefree 2030 and the Government’s commitment to levelling up.”

The campaign kicks off at 10am on Thursday 1 with a special debate over Zoom.

Speaking at the event are:

UKVIA Director-Deneral, John Dunne

Mark Pawsey MP and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Vaping

Patricia Kovacevic, Global Legal and Regulatory Strategist at Andina Gold Corp

Clive Bates, Director of Counterfactual Consulting and former Director of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). 

Topics of discussion include the affect of the pandemic on the vape industry, vaping and the World Health Organization’s COP9 and the misperceptions putting smokers off making the switch.

Sign up here to reserve your free place.


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Start Spreading the News: New York State Says Yes to Legal Weed


After clearing several Senate and Assembly committee votes with lightning speed, both chambers of the New York State legislature are expected to pass a bill legalizing recreational cannabis sometime today or tomorrow. Governor Andrew Cuomo has said he will sign the bill into law.

New York will become the second-largest state (after California) with legal weed, and the 17th overall. Virginia’s legislature passed a legalization bill in early February. Thirty-eight states have some kind of medical cannabis program.

Gov. Cuomo, who initially insisted the cannabis legislation be included in the budget process—which he has traditionally ruled with an iron fist—has agreed to support the current bill, which his office negotiated with the legislature. Cuomo’s position in the state has been severely weakened in recent weeks following two major scandals.

Last year, Cuomo pushed through a ban on non-tobacco flavored vaping products during an all-night legislative budget vote. Legislators debated various parts of the budget by video conference in the wee hours of the morning, but the flavor ban had no public discussion.

The new law will create licensed retailers, which are expected to begin doing business sometime in 2022 or 2023, according to Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes. However, penalties for public possession of up to three ounces of cannabis flower (or 24 grams of concentrates) would end immediately. Residents would also be able to store up to five pounds of flower in their homes right away.

Other components of the law, according to Marijuana Moment, are expected to include:

  • Home cultivation of up to six plants (three mature) will be allowed (or up to 12 per household). Legislators will have six months to create rules for private medical grows, and 18 months after the first legal recreational sales begin to regulate recreational growing
  • Cultivators, processors, distributors, retailers, cooperatives and nurseries would be licensed by the state. Aside from microbusinesses and existing medical cannabis businesses, vertical integration (allowing one company to hold multiple licenses) would be prohibited
  • A new agency—the Office of Cannabis Management—that will be part of the New York State Liquor Authority, will regulate the recreational market and the hemp and medical cannabis programs. Sales will not begin until this agency is in place and rules have been created
  • Cannabis products will be taxed at nine percent, plus an additional four percent that will be split between counties and municipalities. Distributors will also pay a “THC tax” based on the type of product being sold. The tax is higher for more potent products
  • Delivery services will be allowed
  • Smokable hemp flower will be legal
  • Social consumption sites (cannabis lounges) will be allowed
  • The current medical program will be amended to expand the list of qualifying conditions, and allow cannabis flower to be vaped or smoked by patients. Current medical businesses will be allowed to participate in the recreational market
  • Prior convictions for marijuana-related activities that will now be legal will automatically be expunged, and police will not be allowed to use the odor of cannabis as a justification for searches. However, driving while impaired will remain a crime (a misdemeanor)
  • Cannabis users and industry employees will be protected against discrimination in housing, educational access and parental rights. The bill also has significant social equity components
  • Local jurisdictions will be allowed to opt out of allowing retail sales or consumption sites, but residents will have the right to override these bans by local referendum

Cannabis opponents pulled out all the stops leading up to today’s hearings, raising fears about impaired driving and use by kids. Articles about new studies showing the dangers of adolescent pot use appeared, and were immediately promoted by anti-weed campaigners. Of course, teenagers smoke marijuana already, and legalizing and regulating the market won’t make it more available to minors.

Legal cannabis is a popular issue for New York residents; nearly 60 percent support a bill allowing recreational pot. According to the New York Times, Cuomo’s sudden support of the legislature’s legalization bill is partly an attempt by the governor to latch onto the coattails of a good-news story and divert attention away from his nursing home and sexual harassment scandals.

Cuomo made major concessions on the bill, including allowing 40 percent of cannabis tax revenues to go to the state’s Community Grants Reinvestment Fund, which will issue grants to community-based organizations and local governments to reinvest in areas that have been disproportionately affected by past drug policies. Cuomo’s original proposal allowed him to control the tax revenues.

Smokers created vaping without any help from the tobacco industry or anti-smoking crusaders, and vapers have the right to keep innovating to help themselves. My goal is to provide clear, honest information about the challenges vaping faces from lawmakers, regulators, and brokers of disinformation. I recently joined the CASAA board, but my opinions aren’t necessarily CASAA’s, and vice versa. You can find me on Twitter @whycherrywhy


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