The handout Secretary of Health, John Wiesman, referenced in his testimony at the hearing for SB 6328 on e-cigarettes.
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One in five high school seniors in Washington reported e-cigarette use in 2014, up from one in fourteen in 2012. Nicotine is particularly harmful to brain development in children and a recent study found that teens who start using e-cigarettes are 8 times more likely to take up smoking.
Recent studies have shown the increasing popularity among high school students of using e-cigarettes to smoke cannabis. Kids who use nicotine or marijuana at a young age are susceptible to addiction and continued use in adulthood. “As compared with persons who begin to use marijuana in adulthood, those who begin in adolescence are approximately 2 to 4 times as likely to have symptoms of cannabis dependence within 2 years after first use.”
E-liquid, the nicotine-containing component, can poison children via ingestion, inhalation, ocular exposure, and skin contact. In 2015, at least 61 e-cigarette poisonings have been reported, with 59 percent involving 1 to 3 year olds. E-liquids are often sold without child resistant packaging and in alluring candy-like flavors, including caramel apple, wacky taffy and bubble gum.
The FDA does not currently regulate ingredients or safety claims made by manufacturers. Some products that are labeled “nicotine-free” actually contain small amounts of nicotine. A Harvard study also recently discovered diacetyl, an ingredient known to cause “popcorn lung” (bronchiolitis obliterans), in 75 percent of the flavored e-liquids they tested.
In Washington, state law prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, but doesn’t do anything else to regulate e-cigarettes or the people who sell them (including online sellers). Grant, King, Pierce, Clark, and Snohomish Counties have passed ordinances regulating e-cigarettes. Other counties are considering similar ordinances.
Connect To These Resources:E-cig Youth_FINAL.pdf
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Welcome to the third week of the legislative session! The pressure is on. If your policy bill has not been scheduled for a hearing for this week, it may not have a hearing this year. Next week most of the committee time will be spent on "executive action" or voting policy bills out of committees before the February 5th cut-off.
Last Thursday, King County Superior Court Judge William Downing ruled Initiative 1366, Tim Eyman's latest tax-limiting measure, was a thinly veiled constitutional amendment and can't be done by initiative. "It is solely the province of the legislative branch of our representative government to 'propose' an amendment to the state constitution," Downing wrote. "That process is derailed by the pressure-wielding mechanism in this initiative which exceeds the scope of initiative power."
We will be continuing to keep you updated with future status updates. If you have bill or policy questions, please feel free to direct them to Julie Peterson at email@example.com or via twitter at healthygenjulie.
Connect To These Resources:Health Policy News You Can Use January 25 2016.pdf
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids - Survey of WA voters: Raising the Age of Tobacco Sales - December 2015
Connect To These Resources:WA Poll report and toplines.pdf
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Connect To These Resources:Health Policy News You Can Use January 19 2016.pdf
Welcome to the inaugural issue of Health Policy News for the 2016 Session of the Washington State Legislature! We will come to you each week with updates about legislative action impacting community health.
Expectations are low for many policy bills to pass this session. It is a "short session" in an election year. Legislators will want to conclude business in their scheduled time and hit the campaign trail. As they return to Olympia, lawmakers face a budget deficit caused by increased caseloads and enrollments, and the McCleary state Supreme Court case on education. In August, the state Supreme Court delivered a unanimous order and began fining the legislature $100,000 a day for failure to develop a plan to fully fund K-12 public education as directed by its 2012 McCleary decision. The McCleary case directs legislators to boost education by billions of dollars by the 2017-18 school year. Thursday, during a briefing with reporters, legislators reviewed a plan to fund McCleary, but acknowledged finding the funding will take a year.
The Legislature will also face funding of charter schools, which were ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court, the Friday before the Labor Day weekend. Initiative 1366, passed by Washington voters in November puts in the Legislature in a position where it must either send a constitutional amendment to the people requiring a two thirds vote in the legislature or a public vote for all tax increases or the state sales tax is lowered by 1% from 6.5% to 5.5% on April 15, 2016. This one percent reduction in the state sales tax would result in about a $1 billion loss in tax revenue.
Connect To These Resources:Health Policy News You Can Use January 11 2016.pdf
Connect To These Resources:Health Policy News You Can Use - E-cig Special Edition.pdf
Connect To These Resources:Health Policy News You Can Use_ 2015 Session Wrap-up.pdf
Please join us in thanking Governor Inslee for protecting the historic transportation investments our members worked so hard on this session. Please find details in the action alert from the Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition attached. To thank Governor Inslee, use the link here from Washington Bikes.
I finally feel like it really is Sine Die to the 2015 Washington State Legislative Session
- at long last!
Thank you for all of your active engagement the last week!
Connect To These Resources:Health Policy News_Thank you Governor Inslee.pdf
- The Preventive Health and Health Service Block Grant
- Childhood Immunization Program (317 Grant)
- Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention
- Cancer Programs
What should you do?
- E-mail or phone Congressman McDermott to thank him for his remarks in support of the PPHF today.
- Send an e-mail or call your member (or the entire Washington State Congressional Delegation if you are a statewide organization) and let them know you/or your organization are opposed to using the PPHF to offset H.R. 1190.
- Click here for a list of the Washington State Congressional District Directors, Health LAs, and numbers to the DC offices to contact your local representative.
Meanwhile, here in Washington State there is still no agreement on an operating budget for 2015-2017. Without an operating budget by June 30, the Washington State government will begin a potential partial shutdown.
For more Federal and State updates, see the full Health Policy News You Can Use.