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Minutes for HB2563 - Committee on Federal and State Affairs

Short Title

Increasing the minimum age to purchase or possess cigarettes and tobacco products from 18 to 21; prohibiting cigarette vending machines and flavored vaping products.

Minutes Content for Thu, Feb 13, 2020

Chairperson Barker opened the hearing on HB2563.  Jason Long, Revisor, gave an overview of the bill  (Attachment 1).  Questions were asked by Representatives Carpenter, Smith, and Woodard.

At the request of Chairperson Barker, Jordan Milholland, Legislative Research Analyst, spoke about the new federal law and the effects of non-compliance on federal funding to Kansas (Attachment 52)

Chairperson Barker stated that he had received an article entitled "Enforcement Priorities for Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) and Other Deemed Products on the Market Without Premarket Authorization" put out by the U.S.Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Center for Tobacco Products that will be distributed to the Committee by email.  (Said article is attached hereto (Attachment 2 ).

Chairperson Barker recognized Representative John Eplee as a proponent on HB2563 (Attachment 3).  Pursuant to the federal mandate passed in December 2019, the minimum age to purchase tobacco products has been raised to age 21.  The enforcement has been left up to each state, and that is the reason for HB2563.  That bill also addresses the pending FDA directive to ban all flavors from E-cigarettes in certain conditions and situations.

Representative Christ Croft was recognized as a proponent on HB2563 (Attachment 4).  He stated that since January he has received 502 emails and phone calls on this topic.  Eighty-seven percent are in favor of this bill and of those 89.8 percent are in favor of the ban on flavors.  They are also in favor of eliminating disposable pods, making E-cigarettes less available in advertising, and limiting access to those under the age of 21. 

Chairperson Barker recognized Representative Cindy Holscher who testified in support of HB2563 (Attachment 5).  She stated that she has three teenagers, and they have had many conversations about vaping because it has become a crisis in her community, like many communities across the nation.  She stated she has no quarrel with adults using these products in the way they were designed.  She stated her concern is with the way the market has captivated teens.  She is in support of this bill and welcomes additional measures to curb usage among teens. 

Mark Desetti testified in support of HB2563 on behalf of the Kansas National Education Association (KNEA) (Attachment 6).  He stated that the KNEA supports all efforts to block access by Kansas children to substances that create negative health consequences or lead to addiction, including tobacco and vaping products.  He stated passage of HB2563 will help combat both smoking and vaping.

John Jenks testified in support of HB2563 on behalf of the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce (Attachment 7).  He stated his belief hat this bill represents a responsible and effective health care solution to support Kansas employers, employees, health care providers, and communities.  The Kansas City Chamber and its Board of Directors encourage this Committee to pass HB2563 with a favorable recommendation.

Chairperson Barker stated that there were no further oral proponents, but that there is written proponent testimony from Deena Horst and Jim Porter, State Board of Education (Attachment 8); Reginald Robinson, Kansas Health Foundation (Attachment 9); Chad Johanning, MD, Kansas Academy of Family Physicians (Attachment 10); Dennis Kriesel, Kansas Association of Local Health Departments (Attachment 11); Audrey Dunkel, Kansas Hospital Association (Attachment 12); Daniel Craig, Kansas Public Health Association (Attachment 13); Dr. Todd White and John Allison, Superintendents of USD 229 and USD 233 (Attachment 14); and Attorney General Derek Schmidt (Attachment 15).

Chairperson Barker opened the floor for questions of the proponents.  Representative Carpenter had a question for Representative Eplee. 

Chairperson Barker recognized Tara Nolen, an opponent of HB2563 on behalf of the Tobacco Free Kansas Coalition (Attachment 16).  She stated that her organization is opposed to the bill in its present form because the flavor ban and this exemption are significant since there is evidence children use menthol-flavored products.

Kari Rinker testified in place of Andrie Krahl in opposition to HB2563 on behalf the American Heart Association (Attachment 17).  She stated their opposition to the bill is due to the exemption of menthol in the flavored e-cigarette portion of the bill.  They would request that the provisions concerning flavor be removed entirely from the bill.

Chairperson Barker recognized Bob Corkins of Liberty Alliance, who testified as an opponent to HB2563 (Attachment 18).  He stated that this bill is more restrictive of personal freedom than new federal laws.  He asked the Committee to please reject HB2563.

Chairperson Barker recognized Keith Pettersen as an opponent of HB2563 on behalf of Kansas Smoke Free (Attachment 19).  He stated that he is here on behalf of the vaping industry to urge the Committee to reject this bill unless the ban on flavored vaping products is removed from the bill.

The Chair recognized Bob Alderson, who testified in opposition to HB2563 on behalf of Casey's General Stores (Attachment 20).  He stated that Casey's opposes this bill because it increases the retailers license fee from $25 to $100.  The increase of $75 will mean an annual increase for Casey's of $12,300 because they have 164 stores.  He further stated his belief that the bill needs to include a preemption to prevent cities and counties from expanding upon this bill. 

Gregory Conley offered testimony in opposition to HB2563 on behalf of the American Vaping Association (Attachment 21).  He urged the Committee to reject this bill unless the ban on flavored vaping products is removed.  He stated that the closed systems (the pod and cartridge-based products like JUUL) were the intended subject of the flavor restrictions.  The open systems (the refillable systems primarily sold by Kansas vape shops) were not intended to be impacted by the flavor policy.  He stated that illicit THC cartridges sold by drug dealers were responsible for the lung illnesses that have been in the news lately, not vaping itself, and nothing in the bill would stop illegal drug dealers from selling tainted THC products.

The Chair recognized Tom Palace, the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association (PMCA), who testified as an opponent on the bill (Attachment 22).  He stated the PMCA opposes the requirement of two unannounced controlled buys annually, the increase in the retailer license fee, and the removal of penalties for minors in possession. 

Sara Prem testified on behalf of the American Lung Association in opposition to HB2563 (Attachment 23).  She stated that the Lung Association recommends that the provisions addressing the flavor ban be removed and another bill containing a prohibition on all flavors for all tobacco products be addressed separately.  She stated her belief that all flavors need to be prohibited, with no exceptions.

Chairperson Barker recognized Jordan Feuerborn of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network as an opponent (Attachment 24).  Their association recommends ending the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including but not limited to menthol cigarettes, flavored e-cigarettes, flavored cigars, smokeless tobacco, and hookah.

Chairperson Barker recognized Thomas Witt with Equality Kansas as an opponent of HB2563 (Attachment 25).  He stated tobacco companies have targeted the LGBT community, as well as other minority and marginalized populations, for decades.  He urged the Committee to strike the flavor exemption or give further consideration to the bill.

Eric Cope, owner of Top Shelf Vapors, was recognized as an opponent on the bill (Attachment 26).  He stated that this bill takes away 99 percent of the products he sells in his store.

The Chair recognized Ms. Jordin Giesler as an opponent to HB2563 (Attachment 27).  She is a consumer only advocate of flavored vaping products.  She stated flavors are a major  feature in the appeal and effectiveness of vapor products to adult smokers as an alternative to smoking cigarettes and  flavors help adults quit smoking. 

Chairperson Barker recognized Eric McPherson as an opponent (Attachment 28), who stated  he is here with Kansas Smoke Free and owns two vape shops.  He testified this bill will have a negative financial impact on the state, thousands of jobs will be lost as a result of the flavor ban, and vaping as a smoking cessation tool has shown to be more successful than traditional replacement tools. 

Kesha Brandt testified as an opponent to HB2563 (Attachment 29).  She runs six vapor stores across the state.  She testified that after two of her grandmothers died from lung cancer, she knew she had to quit smoking so she could be there for her children and grandchildren.  Nothing worked until she tried vaping.  She was able to quit after a few weeks.  Since then she has been helping thousands of Kansans quit smoking.

Konnor Fleming testified in opposition to HB2563 (Attachment 30).  When his grandmother died from lung cancer, he convinced his mother to quit smoking, but nothing worked until she started vaping. She now helps others quit smoking.

The Chair recognized Sean Carolan as an opponent to HB2563 (Attachment 31).  He testified that he smoked for twelve years, and flavored nicotine vape liquid was the only thing that worked to help him stop smoking.  He stated his belief that a flavor ban will not address the causes for youth vaping and flavors are necessary for adults to stop smoking tobacco.

Chairperson Barker noted that there was written opponent testimony from Dr. Dena Hubbard, Kansas Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (Attachment 32) (Attachment 32A); Elijah Ballard, Stallions Against Tobacco (Attachment 33); Ky Corley, Big E Vapor Shops, LLC (Attachment 34); Ann Chrisman (Attachment 35); Charles Wilson (Attachment 36); Wally Gibson (Attachment 37); Byron McNary (Attachment 38); Darryal McHargue (Attachment 39); Michael York, Chief of Police, Kansas City, Kansas Police Department (Attachment 40); Shelby Rebeck, RN (Attachment 41); Rick Cagan, National Alliance on Mental Illness (Attachment 42); Andrew Helms (Attachment 43); Elizabeth Wilson (Attachment 44); Kathy Gaul (Attachment 45); Austin Chamberlain (Attachment 46); Alex Noor (Attachment 47); and Rachel Godfrey (Attachment 48).

Chairperson Barker stated there were three written neutral testimonies:  Hina Shah, MPH, Kansas Health Institute (Attachment 49); Tanya Dorf Brunner and Christi Wells, Oral Health Kansas (Attachment 50); and Leah Fliter, Kansas Association of School Boards (Attachment 51).

Questions were asked by Representative Eplee to Jordan Feuerborn, Representative Humphries to Kesha Brandt, and Representative Arnberger to Tom Palace.

There being no further business, Chairperson Barker adjourned the meeting at 10:30 a.m.