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Bistate Regional Advocates for Vaping Education (BRAVE) is coordinating efforts with a local grassroots group to recall by petition restrictive tobacco and e-cigarette ordinances. Three ordinances were passed last Monday, December 15th at the Columbia City Council meeting that raised the tobacco sale age to 21 and banned the use of e-cigarettes indoors

Spencer Pearson, author of the referendum petitions, now being distributed in Columbia said, “While I’m sure these policies are well-intended, they will do little to curb actual use of cigarettes by 18-20 year olds. The only thing these smokers have to change is where they purchase their cigarettes. Local business will take a big hit in tobacco sales because of this legislation, and tax revenue will simply be sent to Ashland or Lake of the Woods instead of being collected here in Columbia.”

BRAVE V.P. of Media Relations, A.J. Moll said, “Making electronic cigarettes less attractive or unavailable to adult smokers is horrific for public health, and sends the message to smokers to continue smoking. BRAVE condemns the actions of the Columbia City council; their actions went directly against the will of the Missouri Legislature that late last year correctly defined vapor products separate from tobacco and set the purchase age at 18+.  Current science tells us that e-cigarettes are magnitudes less harmful than combustible cigarettes and pose no harm to bystanders. The city council and health committee succumbed to special interest health groups and were led astray by outdated scientific studies, some suspected to be funded by makers of ineffective nicotine patches, gum and inhaler.”

Petition volunteers have until Monday, January 5th 5:00 p.m. to collect just over 3,200 valid signatures and present to the city clerk.  Pearson said, “We are mounting a strong push to gather signatures because we know we must move quickly. According to our city charter, petitions for referendum must be submitted within 20 days of an ordinance passing. That’s why we are moving full-speed-ahead on this process. There is a strong core of community groups behind this issue, so if you see citizens canvassing during the next two weeks in Columbia, you can bet they are working hard to gather signatures for these referendum petitions.”

Ironically the tobacco ordinances’ sponsor, first ward Councilwoman Ginny Chadwick, currently faces recall of her seat by petition.  Signatures on that initiative are in the validation process.

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A.J. Moll, 314-488-5124, media@mybraveaction.org

www.mybraveaction.org
https://www.facebook.com/brave.mo.il  

Spencer Pearson, 816-729-6963
https://www.facebook.com/legal.tobacco.columbia

 About BRAVE                                                          

Bistate Regional Advocates for Vaping Education (BRAVE) is a statewide Missouri consumer advocacy group, whose mission is to promote science and health of vapor products, commonly known as e-cigarettes.

BRAVE was instrumental in the passage of Missouri Senate Bill 841, which became law in late 2014.  This legislation prevents the sales of vapor products to minors, below the age of 18, and correctly and importantly draws a distinction between combustible tobacco and vapor products. BRAVE actively works with all forms of media to educate the public about tobacco harm reduction.  BRAVE is and remains available for comment.

 
 
On September 11, 2014, the Missouri General Assembly successfully overrode Governor Jay Nixon's veto of Senate Bill 841.  This legislation will become law on October 10, 2014.  Bistate Regional Advocates for Vaping Education (BRAVE) previously applauded the General Assembly for passing this common-sense regulation that, among other things, allows Missouri to join the majority of states that prevent the sales of vapor products to minors in Missouri.