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Disappointing? Yes.

Thursday, March 22, 2018 5:16:04 PM America/New_York

Done fighting? No way!

Today, we expect Congress will release the text of the FY2018 Omnibus Appropriations bill. Unfortunately, the bill will not include the critical Cole-Bishop language for which we all have been advocating. Although the Omnibus does not include language on any tobacco or vapor issues, we know you made your presence felt and voices heard. Disappointed? Yes. Done fighting? No way. VTA will never stop fighting to protect our industry and to protect the rights of thousands of small business innovators like you.

Responding to our call to action only, nearly 5,000 people made more than 15,000 contacts to Congress. The fact that Congress failed to seize this opportunity to strengthen regulations and protect our industry is not the fault of those who stood up and fought. Together, we waged a smart and cohesive battle.

But, we are not done. We will keep growing, keep fighting, and keep defending our vapor industry. In fact, VTA has been working on dual tracks - both legislative and administrative - all year and we will now re-focus our attention to the Trump Administration and the Food & Drug Administration.

To that end, in mid-January of this year, VTA was the first trade association in either the tobacco industry or vapor industry to meet with Commissioner Gottlieb. During the meeting we offered the Commissioner concrete proposals for achieving our shared goals of reducing, if not eliminating, smoking through new vapor product innovation.

Our diverse and professional group of companies was able to present a clear message and concrete proposals to FDA from the perspectives of each segment of our vapor industry, including that of flavoring manufacturers, small vape shop owners, e-liquid manufacturers, device manufacturers, and wholesalers and distributors.

Specifically, we described how the current barriers to innovation threaten consumer and product safety, how our industry's most innovative products are going overseas, and how current regulations, unless drastically changed, will never permit rapid innovation to enhance product safety, public safety, and product efficacy in the U.S. We called on Commissioner Gottlieb to ensure protections for our industry and provide clarity to our members or risk never achieving the true benefits afforded by innovation of vapor products. In addition, we underscored the importance of flavors to adult smokers trying to quit and made it clear that marketing (not flavors) was the real issue.

Our organization is proud to represent small business owners, manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers, and innovators like you. We're proud that so many of you answered the call to action and stood up for our industry. And, we are so proud to work with so many state vapor associations to secure state victories across the country over the past year. We will never stop fighting for our members and their priorities in Washington and State Capitals across the country.

And, with the newly announced ANPRM on flavors - we are just getting started! We will be coordinating an industry response, and we'll be announcing an aggressive campaign regarding the FDA in the coming weeks.

Thank you from everyone at VTA!



Tony Abboud
Executive Director
Vapor Technology Association

Comments | Posted By Tony Abboud

VTA Federal Legislative Campaign in Full Swing

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 9:44:00 AM America/New_York

VTA Federal Legislative Campaign in Full Swing

Immediately after VTA met with FDA last January (more on that in our next report), we turned our attention to the pending federal legislative fight in front of us. As you all know, our language to change the predicate date has already passed the House of Representatives as part of the House Agriculture Appropriations bill. Unlike past battles, there was no opposition this year in the House which places us in a stronger position.

Everyone knows that changing the predicate date will allow continued product accessibility in the market for adult smokers desperately trying to quit, and will empower manufacturers to focus on developing new and innovative products. What you probably don't know is that, in addition to VTA's significant presence on Capitol Hill through West Front Strategies and the meetings they have set up for our Board, our multi-faceted campaign to secure this important change included at least four other strategic components.

1. Flipping the Script! We were sick and tired of the constant attacks on our industry claiming that we are putting minors at risk. We know that you are working hard to keep vapor products out of the hands of minors and decided that our opponents were no longer going to control the narrative. Many in Congress have no idea that Cole-Bishop includes at multiple provisions that will help us keep the product away from minors and insulate minors from marketing.

So, we flipped the script by launching our industry's first paid media campaign in Washington DC to drive home the point that, if Congress really wants to do something to keep vapor away from teens, then Congress must pass Section 753 of the House Agriculture Appropriations bill (Cole-Bishop) now. This targeted campaign has proven to be very effective, reaching more than 2.1 million users in less than 2 weeks. Here's an example of the ads that were seen all over Capitol Hill on the web, on Twitter and on Facebook.

Everyone clicking on the ads would be taken directly to our message at www.SaveVapor.org explaining why passing Section 753 would protect youth by limiting marketing and access to vapor products.

2. In the Field: VTA has deployed professional field teams in10 target states. As we lead these professional teams, we have asked them to work hand-in-hand with each of the state vapor trade associations which are affiliated with VTA to spread the word throughout state news outlets about the importance of passing common-sense changes of Cole-Bishop. Our message is very simple: Congress needs to work as hard as you are to keep these products out of the hands of minors. Through letters to the editor an Op Eds placed in these target states, we hoped to clarify the importance of passing Cole-Bishop and make sure decision makers understand they have a real opportunity to act, and not just talk about protecting youth.

3. Grass Roots: Our team deployed a series of new graphics to boost utilization of our new Phone2Action Center which allows you to send emails, Tweets and Facebook messages to their Congressmen. In addition, we armed our state vapor associations with their own links to drive their members directly. The simultaneous pushes by our state vapor associations and our large manufacturers and wholesalers resulted in 4,500 new actors.

4. Save Vapor Saturday / Sunday: VTA was able to launch a last-minute weekend in-store campaign called Save Vapor Saturday / Sunday on March 10 and 11, to drive home the message to Congress just before their final decisions are made. Thanks to our remarkable network of state associations and vape shops! Your quick work lead to more than 3,500 messages being sent to your Members of Congress this weekend alone! Way to go vapor community!

It's Decision Time / Do Your Part: We have been pushing hard for the month because the decision is being made, literally, today or tomorrow. We expect final language to be filed in the House on Wednesday so we should know by then whether we were successful. If you haven't already, take a few minutes RIGHT NOW to act. We have no time to wait or waste. The decisions are being made as your read this. ACT NOW BY CLICKING HERE!

Comments | Posted By Vapor Technology Association

Cancer Society, Health Groups Calling on Others

Monday, March 12, 2018 12:08:12 PM America/New_York

Cancer Society, Health Groups Calling on Others to Ditch Anti-Vaping Rhetoric in Light of “Avalanche of Research”

NEW YORK – Harm reduction experts encouraged by the American Cancer Society’s evolving position on electronic cigarettes are calling on others to ditch their anti-vaping rhetoric in favor of “science-based debate.”

Health groups in the U.S. largely remain adversarial towards alternative smoking technologies despite an avalanche of peer-reviewed research proving the devices drastically reduce the harmful health impacts of combustible cigarettes. A recent shift by the American Caner Society on vaping, however, is a “refreshing” step towards informed debate and away from the ideological crusade of many tobacco controllers against e-cigarettes, Dr. Carrie Wade, director of harm reduction policy for the R Street Institute, argues in a Friday editorial.

The American Cancer Society, which is historically critical of vaping, issued a position statement Feb. 15 on e-cigarettes that acknowledges their safety compared to combustible cigarettes and even argues medical providers should support smokers who are attempting to quit with a vaping device.

They argue other prominent organizations in the U.S. medical community need to follow the example of the American Cancer Society by changing with the scientific evidence. Ample research shows vaping significantly improves health outcomes for smokers, something that should be a priority for U.S. tobacco control groups.

In the U.K., government health services are even promoting vaping for smokers as a strategy for slashing the national smoking rate.

Scientists at the University of Catania in Italy recently conducted a three-year study investigating the effects of regular vaping on the body of the user, finding “no evidence of health concerns associated with long-term use of e-cigarettes” on blood pressure, heart rate, body weight, lung function, respiratory symptoms, exhaled breath nitric oxide and exhaled carbon monoxide.

Research published in the Journal of Aerosol Science in January shows that chemical levels in the vapor released from e-cigarettes are well below the safety limits suggested by both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization. The study determines that vaping is statistically 5,700 times less harmful to users than combustible cigarettes, drastically reducing the risk of developing smoking related illnesses.

Wade notes that the American Cancer Society still prefers smokers quit cold turkey or use Food and Drug Administration-approved cessation tools, however, they argue ditching cigarettes to exclusively vape, “is preferable to continuing to smoke combustible products.” The group also remains worried about the presence of nicotine in vapor products, warning nicotine dependence could lead to the use of tobacco.

Still, Wade argues the group’s evolving position on vaping is, “encouraging news…for the overall notion that we can have informed, science-based debates over public-health issues.”

Millions of former smokers in the U.S. are already embracing the positive science on vaping and using the harm reduction tools to quit combustible cigarettes.


Link to original article on www.newsli.com: https://www.newsli.com/2018/03/10/american-cancer-society-health-groups-calling-on-others-to-ditch-anti-vaping-rhetoric-in-light-of-avalanche-of-research

Comments | Posted By Steve Birr

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