HARTLAND, WISCONSIN ON THE COORDINATION MOVE AGAIN, TELLS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WHAT’S NEXT

 
 

Late last week, the village of Hartland, Wisconsin and its favorite son, took the next bold step into the coordination process.  The Trustees, led by president Jeff Pfannerstill, and village administrator David Cox, signed and delivered a formal recommendation to advance coordination between the local and federal governments over the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s e-liquid regulations under the Tobacco Control Act. The Hartland representatives met with federal officials in the District of Columbia a little over a month ago, and now have taken a pro-active step to put the coordination talks into gear. Hearing Officer Fred Kelly Grant made recommendations to the Board on the last Monday of June, and the Board acted on the recommendation, pushing the ball into the FDA’s court.

First, Hartland reminded the FDA that the Deeming Regulations were issued in violation of several statutory mandates including the requirement that the agency coordinate with the Village as to the content of the regulations. Hartland again requested that the FDA rescind the unlawful regulations, but then addressed three specific elements that could be worked on through coordination while the rescission is taking place.

  • The Village suggested working on a protocol for deterrence of youth from beginning a smoking habit. The Trustees said that through coordination, the parties could discuss and jointly develop a deterrence protocol not through prohibitive federal regulations, but through real life testimonials from actual vapers who describe the differences in their lives between when they smoked combustible cigarettes and after vaping products helped them quit The Village Board advised FDA that they heard several very telling examples during their three-day, televised, hearing which could form the base for educational deterrence.  They expressed doubt that restrictive regulations could bring about deterrence since the law now prohibits sale and use by youth and has not worked.

 

  • The Trustees suggested that through coordination the parties encourage Johnson Creek Enterprises to develop a protocol by which each step necessary in applying for and gaining approval would be defined and cost analyzed. This would give the FDA an actual cost for analysis instead of mere speculation upon which it now relies.  Since no cost analysis was performed prior to the issuance of the regulations as it should have been, the FDA can now use that failure as a stepping stone toward a meaningful and actual analysis.

 

  • Third, the Village suggested that a tax revenue loss study be performed, with identification of repercussions from the loss of tax revenue. If the vaping industry goes out of business, or loses significant business every level of government—local, county, state and federal will lose significant tax revenues and no study of that loss has been made.  The Village suggested a cost analysis profile to include a three-dimensional view of the revenue losses. The profile would study every angle of every tax paid to every government level by every element of the business: manufacturer, retail seller, transportation, user, and all incidentals.  This tax study is vital because it raises the issue of loss of tax revenue by local governments as well as the state and federal government for the first time.

After Grant’s presentation, the Trustees discussed the recommendations and with some adjustments approved them and sent them on to the next forward step toward meaningful coordination.  During the meeting, Grant advised the Trustees that efforts were underway to help a California town from the southern part of the state to join Hartland in the field seeking coordination.  Mark Block, founder and CEO of the Electronic Vaping Coalition of America (EVCA) advised the Board that the Coalition was working in support of them and would assist in pushing coordination through southern California.  EVCA is the organization that first introduced Hartland to the concept and process of coordination which Grant has worked with successfully for nearly thirty years. Block also gave the Board an update on the bill to repeal and replace the Deeming Regulations introduced in the United States House of Representatives by Congressman Duncan Hunter of California.  Legislative relief through that bill is being pursued by EVCA while also supporting the coordination process.

David Cox has advised Grant that a local jurisdiction in another state has contacted him for information regarding the coordination process, so Hartland is being looked to as a standard bearer to move the coordination process forward.

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