Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124

03/28/2018 03:15 PM House LABOR & COMMERCE

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
-- Public Testimony --
Scheduled but Not Heard
-- Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 379 Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 353(L&C) Out of Committee
         SB 15-E-CIGS/TOBACCO/NICOTINE & MINORS; SALES                                                                      
3:19:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KITO  announced that the  first order of business  would be                                                               
SENATE  BILL  NO.  15,  "An  Act relating  to  possession  of  an                                                               
electronic smoking product or a  product containing nicotine by a                                                               
minor and to  selling or giving an electronic  smoking product to                                                               
a  minor;  relating  to business  license  endorsements  to  sell                                                               
cigarettes,   cigars,  tobacco,   products  containing   tobacco,                                                               
electronic  smoking products,  or  products containing  nicotine;                                                               
and  relating  to  citations   for  certain  offenses  concerning                                                               
tobacco or nicotine products."                                                                                                  
3:19:47 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GARY STEVENS, Alaska State  Legislature, introduced SB 15                                                               
as prime sponsor.   He explained the bill was  created to protect                                                               
children from an addiction to nicotine.                                                                                         
3:21:01 PM                                                                                                                    
TIM   LAMKIN,  Staff,   Senator   Gary   Stevens,  Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature, presented SB 15 on  behalf of Senator Stevens, prime                                                               
sponsor.   He stated  the proposed bill  is aimed  at restricting                                                               
nicotine  products  by age.    He  explained  the smoking  of  e-                                                               
cigarettes can be  referred to as vaping.  He  said public health                                                               
advocacy is winning the war  against tobacco and e-cigarettes are                                                               
more fashionable and  designed to attract a wide  range of users.                                                               
He cited that  there are about four million  users worldwide that                                                               
are school  aged.  He said  there exists a loophole  meaning it's                                                               
not  illegal  to  possess  e-cigarettes. He  added  there  is  no                                                               
provision  for law  enforcement to  take care  of this  issue, so                                                               
they can't  cite vendors.  He  said the health benefits  of these                                                               
products  are  dubious at  best.    He  said  the Food  and  Drug                                                               
Administration (FDA)  has approved  the known chemicals  as being                                                               
safe for  ingestion, but no  as an inhalant.   He said  the long-                                                               
term effects are still being studied.   He said the proposed bill                                                               
would treat them in the same  manner as tobacco products. He gave                                                               
examples of some Juneau, Alaska, businesses that sell e-                                                                        
cigarette products.                                                                                                             
MR. LAMKIN  listed some of  the arguments against  regulating the                                                               
products.   He  remarked the  FDA does  limited enforcement.   He                                                               
said the  penalties are "little more  than a slap on  the wrist."                                                               
He said the paperwork is not  onerous.  He said the argument that                                                               
the products  help smokers  quit smoking.   He said  those people                                                               
are not  the target of the  bill.  He stated  another argument is                                                               
that the  products are  not tobacco and  therefore should  not be                                                               
regulated as  such.  He added  there are few requirements  on the                                                               
labelling  of the  products.   He  mentioned  studies found  some                                                               
traces of nicotine in the products.   He said another argument is                                                               
that "everyone  wants to keep  these out  of minors' hands."   He                                                               
stated it should not be an issue for those wishing to do so.                                                                    
3:33:19 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH asked  whether e-cigarettes are periodically                                                               
prescribed as a medical device for smoking cessation.                                                                           
MR.  LAMKIN answered  that  to  his knowledge,  the  FDA has  not                                                               
declared e-cigarettes a drug delivery device.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  asked whether  the device  can be  used for                                                               
marijuana consumption.                                                                                                          
MR. LAMKIN answered  that depending on the  product, some devices                                                               
can be made to contain THC.                                                                                                     
3:36:53 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  pointed to  the designation  of 18  years of                                                               
age as minor.                                                                                                                   
MR.  LAMKIN  answered the  proposed  bill  would not  change  the                                                               
statutory age restrictions on tobacco products.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL asked about the  penalty for possession of an                                                               
e-cigarette or a tobacco product for a minor.                                                                                   
MR. LAMKIN answered  that currently it is a violation  with a $50                                                               
fee.  He  added that it's not  enforced often.  He  said the bill                                                               
is targeted at vendors.                                                                                                         
3:39:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KITO  said there  is a  committee substitute  which updates                                                               
the effective date.                                                                                                             
3:39:51 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  moved to adopt  CS to  SB 15 as  the working                                                               
document.  There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                         
3:40:29 PM                                                                                                                    
JOE  DARNELL, Chief  Investigator, Tobacco  Enforcement, Division                                                               
of Behavioral  Health, answered  questions in  the hearing  on SB
15.  He spoke  to a survey to see what the sale  rate was used 16                                                               
-17 years old  had a state wide  sell rate of 26  percent of vape                                                               
products to minors.   The same year showed a  5.4 rate of selling                                                               
tobacco  to minors.     He  said use  was  "exploding across  the                                                               
3:43:12 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SULLIVAN-LEONARD asked  about data  regarding the                                                               
health risk in vaping.                                                                                                          
3:46:08 PM                                                                                                                    
SARA  CLARK,  Program  Coordinator, Division  of  Public  Health,                                                               
Department  of  Health  and   Social  Services  (DHSS),  answered                                                               
questions in  the hearing  on SB  15.  She  said health  risks of                                                               
nicotine include addiction and harmful  effects on the adolescent                                                               
MR.  LAMKIN  informed  that  e-cigarettes  contain  a  series  of                                                               
chemicals  for which  studies are  still being  carried out.   He                                                               
listed some chemicals and their effects when inhaled.                                                                           
3:49:15 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS  spoke to an  article on vaping which  shows that                                                               
vaping can  lead to  the presence  of toxic  chemicals associated                                                               
with higher cancer  rates.  He added there is  a threat of cancer                                                               
that is  not present  when there  is no use  of cigarettes  or e-                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL asked about  the motivation behind the higher                                                               
age limit for purchase.                                                                                                         
JOE DARNELL answered there has been  a national push to raise the                                                               
tobacco purchase age to 21.                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  asked  about the  effects  of  second-hand                                                               
MR. LAMKIN answered that the information was still emerging.                                                                    
3:53:42 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KITO opened public testimony on SB 15.                                                                                    
3:53:48 PM                                                                                                                    
JAMIE MORGAN,  American Heart  Association, testified  in support                                                               
of SB 15.                                                                                                                       
3:54:46 PM                                                                                                                    
PATTY  OWEN,  Alaska  Public  Health  Association,  testified  in                                                               
support  of SB  15. She  said the  organization was  supporting a                                                               
minimum age  of 21 for tobacco  purchase, including e-cigarettes.                                                               
She said  studies predict that  raising the age to  21 nationwide                                                               
would result in fewer deaths from lung cancer.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL asked  about the legal argument  to raise the                                                               
age to 21.                                                                                                                      
MS. OWENS  said she can't speak  to the legal aspects.   She said                                                               
95 percent of adult smokers begin smoking before age 21.                                                                        
CHAIR  KITO commented  that he  remembers some  discussion around                                                               
raising  the  drinking  age  from  19  to  21  and  part  of  the                                                               
discussion  centered around  creating  a  barrier between  school                                                               
aged kids and adults.                                                                                                           
3:58:47 PM                                                                                                                    
TERRENCE ROBBINS testified  in support of SB 15.   He stated that                                                               
in Ketchikan, Alaska,  the use of e-cigarettes is  double that of                                                               
cigarettes. He said he think  the proposed bill would help reduce                                                               
the number of kids that start smoking  to begin with.   He shared                                                               
a study that listed 10  cancer-causing chemicals that were in the                                                               
urine of e-cigarette users that were  not present in the urine of                                                               
nonsmokers and  non-e-cigarette users.   He reported  young users                                                               
were getting  their tobacco  products from an  older friend.   He                                                               
suggested  raising the  age to  21 would  reduce the  probability                                                               
that younger users get access to the products.                                                                                  
4:03:35 PM                                                                                                                    
ROBIN   MINARD,   Director,   Public   Affairs,   Mat-Su   Health                                                               
Foundation,  testified in  support of  SB  15. She  cited a  2015                                                               
study by  the National Institute  of Health which found  that 9th                                                               
graders that  use e-cigarettes are  3 times more likely  to smoke                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL asked Ms. Minard  whether she thinks there is                                                               
any value  in the cessation aspect  of e-cigarettes.  He  gave an                                                               
example of friend who had used them to quit smoking.                                                                            
MS.  MINARD answered  that  e-cigarettes are  not  Food and  Drug                                                               
Administration (FDA) approved as a cessation device.                                                                            
4:05:54 PM                                                                                                                    
BETTY MACTAVISH,  Retired Schoolteacher, testified in  support of                                                               
SB 15.   She said many  of the devices  are so small they  can be                                                               
hidden  in  coats.  She  indicated students  are  using  them  in                                                               
bathrooms, halls,  and parking  lots of  schools. She  added some                                                               
students are dual users, using  both cigarettes and e-cigarettes,                                                               
while  some  who   would  never  use  cigarettes   are  using  e-                                                               
4:08:14 PM                                                                                                                    
EMILY  NENON,  Alaska  Government  Relations  Director,  American                                                               
Cancer Society  Action Network,  testified in  support of  SB 15.                                                               
She  clarified  that  the  proposed bill  was  aimed  at  vendors                                                               
selling  to minors.     She  explained the  difference between  a                                                               
vaper  and  aerosol.   The  aerosol  has  been found  to  contain                                                               
ultrafine particles  that can  be inhaled  deeply into  the lungs                                                               
including heavy metals and carcinogens.   She added that nicotine                                                               
is  a psychoactive  neurotoxin and  there  are clear  established                                                               
health harms  to the adolescent brain.   She said sales  rates of                                                               
tobacco  used to  be 30  percent, and  now 35.7  percent of  vape                                                               
shops are  selling to youth.   She indicated that  penalties have                                                               
brought sale rates for tobacco down significantly.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL asked  whether it is currently  legal to sell                                                               
the products to minors.                                                                                                         
MS.  NENON answered  legislation  had been  passed  that did  not                                                               
include e-cigarettes.                                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE WOOL  reiterated that  selling nicotine  to people                                                               
under  19 is  currently against  the  law and  the proposed  bill                                                               
states that selling the delivery device is what is penalized.                                                                   
MS. NENON stated  that it is a technical question.   She said the                                                               
proposed bill is  about the penalties to the vendors  who sell to                                                               
4:13:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR KITO held over SB 15.                                                                                                     

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB353 DBH and Board letters supporting CS 3.22.18.pdf HL&C 3/28/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 353
HB353 Letters of Support 3.27.18.pdf HL&C 3/28/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 353
HB379 Support Letter 3.19.18.pdf HL&C 3/28/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 379
HB379 Support Letter 3.19.18.pdf HL&C 3/28/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 379