Don't let Big Tobacco win, tell them NO!

Recipients

  • State Representative Bronna Kahle
  • State Representative Beth Griffin
  • State Representative Luke Meerman
  • State Representative Kevin Hertel
  • State Representative Roger Hauck
  • State Representative Kyra Bolden
  • State Representative Jim Lilly

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Message

Dear [Decision Maker],

As an advocate for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) I am writing you to urge you to vote NO on the package of bills, SB781 - SB786

The tobacco industry has a long history of marketing to youth to addict the next generation to their deadly products and are at the crux of the current youth tobacco epidemic. They should not be trusted to do what is in the best interest for Michigan kids. While several bills that have been filed appear to look good at face value, the devil is in the details.

The tax proposed in SB0781 would not apply to all e-cigarettes, leaving countless products available at inexpensive prices youth can afford. All e-cigarettes should be defined and taxed as a tobacco product at 32% of the wholesale price, the same rate as the tax on other tobacco products. Any tax that exempts some products or taxes them at a reduced rate will not protect our kids. Tobacco tax increases must be regular and significant and apply to all tobacco products at a parallel rate to reduce tobacco use.

The details outlined in SB0782 retain alternative nicotine product terms and definitions. These subjective descriptions leave our kids open to Big Tobacco and keeps these harmful products in their hands. This bill also creates a tobacco retail license. We need to ensure that the license is enforceable and meets the needs that our kid deserve.

Furthermore, SB0783 maintains that tobacco, menthol and fruit flavors aren't appealing to kids under the guise of an advertising restrictions which is already covered by the FDA. Research has proven just the opposite; flavored tobacco products directly target our kids. This legislation is also a landmine for the state. Passing this legislation would set the state up for litigation for decades to come.

While SB0784 would raise the current age of sale from 18 to 21, it does not provide for any active enforcement to ensure that retailers aren't selling to youth. Without a licensing structure in place for all tobacco retailers, including e-cigarette retailers, how will the state know where these products are being sold? The tobacco industry would like you to believe that simply raising the age will be enough to combat the youth epidemic we are seeing in our state, but the truth is without a comprehensive approach to actively enforce the law to ensure retailers aren't selling to our youth, we will continue to see youth find ways to access these products.

ACS CAN supports strong tobacco 21 policies that covers all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, provides public education and training and technical assistance to retailers, and implements measures for active enforcement, such as retailer licensing and penalties, including license suspension and revocation for non-compliant retailers. Strong laws DO NOT retain separate categories of products that continue to exempt them from other tobacco control laws, penalize youth, or preempt other jurisdictions from passing strong tobacco control laws.

I call on you to vote NO on this package of bills. Let's not continue to allow the tobacco industry to addict another generation in order to secure their profits. The cause of the problem should not be looked upon for the solution to the problem!

Protect our youth! Not Big Tobacco!

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]