The Vapor Technology Association (VTA) announced this week that it would be expanding its country-wide efforts to combat anti-vaping legislation as it continues to sweep the nation.
Representing manufacturers, and small business owners who provide adult consumers with innovative products designed to be safer alternatives to traditional tobacco, the VTA is designed to promote those small businesses, stimulate job growth and advocate for responsible public policies and reasonable regulations for the vape product industry.
In continuing its mission to fight legislation that can potentially eviscerate a rapidly growing industry, the VTA welcomed Jake Butcher, a hardened vapor industry expert and state government specialist to join the organization as its State affairs manager.
“With the FDA’s declaration that we are ‘tobacco,’ the state-level anti-vaping groups in coordination with their national counterparts are already planning their assault on our industry,” Tony Abboud, VTA National Legislative Director said.
He added, “We will combat their coordinated assault with our own multi-state coordinated strategy.”
Butcher has had resounding success working with vape shops to repeatedly defeat anti-vaping bills in Illinois, a very hostile state, according to Abboud.
The VTA director says that Butcher has gained ample experience as a lawyer, state-house policy staffer and contract lobbyist whose work with state vapor associations, of which the VTA has worked closely with, has greatly benefitted shared advocacy efforts.
“I am excited to be working with an unparalleled team of experts who know how to be successful at the state level and are fully committed to doing so,” Butcher said of the VTA. “We have to guard against the overreach of anti-vaping advocacy groups that are pushing bills to devastate the vapor industry in the states.”
The new VTA member says he’s already worked with a number of state vapor groups and has provided them with support and strategic insights, and that as it stands, the vapor product industry has reached a “critical juncture.”
“My goal is to make sure that we are ready with an aggressive state public affairs strategy not only to fight hostile legislation, but also educate legislators on vapor and the public health benefits our industry provide,” Butcher said.
Offering state vapor associations the professional leadership, coordination and support previously inaccessible on the national level, the VTA continues to expand its efforts with attention paid to state and local outreach.
“Our professionally run state advocacy strategy is as important as our professionally run federal strategy,” Abboud said. “Jake will be a real asset to state vapor associations and their lobbyists, and he will be key to providing needed support for state advocacy efforts.”
“We cannot save vapor unless our industry is also prepared to fight at the state level. It’s as simple as that.”