Taking a Look at The Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association

Taking a Look at The Smoke Free Alternatives
Trade Association

By Cynthia Cabrera, SFATA Executive Director

 

The e-cig industry is a disruptor, turning the tobacco industry on its head,
empowering consumers and creating a new multi-billion dollar industry. But, in the
long run who will be able to reap the windfall brought on by this nascent industry?

The World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control and the Surgeon
General have for many years agreed that tobacco use is harmful, and in particular, that
smoking tobacco cigarettes is very harmful in various ways. Despite the well-known dangers
of cigarette smoking and the public policy arguments in favor of reducing tobacco consumption such as lower health care costs, efforts to reduce tobacco consumption have not been as effective as one would expect over the past several decades. Reducing tobacco use is a significant benefit that has the potential to change our society for the better and an objective that the FDA and anti-smoking groups across the globe have been trying to achieve for decades.

I believe a major problem right now is that FDA and anti smoking groups seem to view vapers and the act of vaping as indistinguishable from smokers and smoking when the two are in reality very different things. Given the stigma smoking has earned, and the harm it causes, there is a strong push by FDA, various Attorney Generals, and legislators at the federal, state and local levels. These groups and individuals confuse smoking with vaping and attempt to regulate vaporizers in the exact same manner as cigarettes. This doesn’t make sense, and would be a huge mistake on many levels as it would unfairly stifle the industry, deny millions of adults an alternative to tobacco and stifle one of the most prolific segments of our economy.  That’s bad news for an industry that’s largely comprised of small companies and entrepreneurially-minded individuals

The Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) exists in part to help educate smaller and mid-sized companies as to what we consider to be acceptable advertising, manufacturing and marketing protocols and to serve as a powerful voice for them in our nation’s capital as well as in their own backyards where many of them are being unfairly treated as though they were tobacco companies. 

At SFATA we are constantly engaging and educating regulatory officials and legislators at the federal, state and local level on behalf of our members. Our membership grows each month as more companies look to collaborate to achieve common goals and to obtain guidance and support as the industry expands and become more complicated.

To date, SFATA is the largest e-cig trade association and is comprised of sophisticated companies in the industry who are looking to work together to help protect common interests.  Business owners and consumers of e-cigs and e-cig accessories can help in a variety of ways:

Become a member of SFATA. While different companies may not always agree on every initiative, as some affect others differently in the marketplace, its important to have an industry that speaks with a unified voice on the issues that everyone agrees are most important. SFATA is committed to engaging with government agencies and elected officials in an effective manner—to communicate industry messages that smaller and mid-size businesses would not normally able to convey. We employ FDA experts, as well as attorneys and staff who specialize in the areas that affect our industry and are able to be of the most help as they have a profound understanding of the regulatory, legal and business issues that are unique to the vaping community. 
The way consumers and business owners talk about vaping needs to be different.

As a business owner, your message and your right to communicate it, is different than that of a consumer and that’s an important distinction. A consumer can talk about his or her vaping experience with impunity and in ways businesses cannot.

A consumer can advocate about what they see as any benefit vaporizers provide them with. Perhaps the availability of flavors keeps that consumer interested in using his or her personal vaporizing device rather than tobacco cigarettes? Perhaps he or she has cut down use of tobacco cigarettes and have saved money? Perhaps he or she feels better having switched to vaping from smoking. There are many compelling, important and amazing stories that vapers share about how vaping has changed their lives for the better. It’s important that consumers and consumer advocacy groups make those statements so that elected officials, government agencies and others unfamiliar with vaping understand consumers’ point of view. 

Business owners have a responsibility to sell and advertise products as intended and governed by law. While it is fine for consumers to share their personal stories, business should never make or endorse health or smoking cessation claims. Doing so could, arguably, subject such a business to being regulated by the FDA as a tobacco product under the current state of the law.  

Instead, craft your message as a business owner and focus on the economic impact this product has given you. Focus on the jobs you’ve created, the taxes you pay, the properties you rent and how you’ve assisted your community financially.  Attend meetings and stay in tune with what is happening in your community. Visit the SFATA website to get more information about issues in your state. Rally your customers to attend meetings as well; have them share their stories.  It’s important to engage with legislators and be part of the process as they are responsible for making decisions that affect your community and they need to hear from you.

Whatever the case is, consumer or business, advocating for an industry and the right to use new technology requires a lot of work. Consumer and businesses that engage and communicate with lawmakers have the ability to effectuate positive change. Legislators care about and listen to their constituents. Our website has tools to contact elected officials and information business owners can utilize for themselves and relay to their elected officials and communities  in support of the industry.


For more information, visit www.sfata.org.

E-Cig Vending Machine Wars Continue in California

ecigTo vend or not to vend? Vending machines, long known for snacks, soda, cigarettes and other miscellaneous items are venturing out into the vaping world, however the state of California is looking at a possible ban.

Lawmakers in the state recently voted down a bill that would ban e-cig sales through vending machines, according to vendingtimes.com. While the FDA has released proposed rules that call for regulation of electronic cigarettes through vending machines, they currently are just propositions and nothing concrete.

Meanwhile in San Diego, the City Council unanimously passed legislation that indeed does ban the sale of e-cigs in vending machines. Vendingtimes.com reports that e-cigs also are banned in all other places where conventional cigarettes are banned. Los Angeles and Long Beach also have banned e-cigs in indoor public places, beaches and parks. This includes vending machines.

New Product Alert: V2 Pro Portable Vaporizer

v2pro_series3_units-copyIf you’re into large-scale vapor devices, the V2 Pro may be for you. The newest e-cigarette from VMR Products, this new “multi-medium vaporizer is a result of more than two years of research and development.

According to csdecisions.com, 30 engineers and scientists worked on the product development, and the new line will feature three models of varying sizes. All three can vaporize e-liquid, loose leaf tobacco and essential oils.

Retail price currently is set around $59.99.

Vaping News From Across the Pond—E-Cig Users May Need Medicinal License

CityAMLondonIn a recent article posted on London-based CityAm.com, a new legal challenge involving e-cigarettes is on the horizon. TOTALLY Wicked is targeting the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive, which would make e-cigs users required to obtain a medicinal license similar to nicotine patches and gums. The directive would take place May 2016.

A hearing regarding the challenge will take place on Oct. 6 in London, where a judge will determine if the case will go higher to the Court of Justice of the EU.

 

Traveling This Holiday Weekend? Watch Out For E-Cig Fees

FDA Proposes New Regulations On Electronic CigarettesThose traveling this Labor Day may want to ask ahead when it comes to hotel/motel and car rental companies’ views are on vaping.

A recent article in the Washington Post raises questions about cleaning fees in certain hotels and motels. Should e-cig vapor be considered the same as smoke? Whether you use a tobacco product or vape, those quoted in the article said that vapor can and has been viewed as a cleaning fee hazard.

The story goes on to say that rental car companies aren’t sure what to do about the “no smoking” policy in vehicles either when it comes to vaping.

For the full story, visit http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/travel-industry-to-smokers-puff-at-your-own-risk/2014/08/14/b323763e-23cf-11e4-958c-268a320a60ce_story.html.

FDA Making Major Assumptions, Las Vegas Review-Journal Says

FDAecigsThe debate rages on, however the Las Vegas Review-Journal says that the Food and Drug Administration is making one assumption in regards to pending e-cigarette regulations—placing health risk before public health improvement.

According to the newspaper, more studies than not are proving that e-cigs are at least, if not more, effective than approved smoking cessation methods. The American Medical Association also may be on the vaping side of things, stating that vapor is less toxic than secondhand smoke and that while e-cigs do contain nicotine, it “probably doesn’t contribute nearly as much to smoking-related diseases as tobacco.”

A recent Gallup poll stated that 74 percent of smokers in the United States. That’s a huge market for the e-cigarette industry to claim, if the FDA sees fit. Regulations are inevitable, but what exactly is to be regulated is yet to be seen.

VAPE News Magazine Major ECC Announcements!

Picture 1We’re definitely not blowing smoke–this year’s Electronic Cigarette Convention is going to be bigger and better than ever before, and VAPE will be there to cover every inch of the Ontario Convention Center Sept. 5-7.

Visit VAPE’s outdoor booth 2816-B, and take part in the Juice Judge Blind Taste Test Bracket Challenge. Before the show we will ask every vendor to submit his or her best flavor. The contest will run throughout the weekend, with the champion announced on Sunday. Participant testers get a free copy of VAPE News. And, the best part? *A perfect bracket received $5,000!

VAPE also is giving away a free trip to an upcoming national vaping event in October via raffle to any subscribers during ECC. Winner will be chosen on Sunday. (Restrictions may apply. Must be 18 to enter or win.)

Lastly, VAPE News will be LIVE Tweeting from the show during its entirety. Follow us on Twitter @VapeMZ for breaking news, show highlights and much more!

*Brackets must be submitted by the Friday morning of the show. Brackets and further info will be posted on Facebook and Twitter. Must be 18 to enter or win. Restrictions may apply.

Agent Vape’s Secret Deal 10% off Sale at The Vape Mall

deal

The Vape Mall is having their Labor Day sale! From now through Monday all single bottles of juice, DIY, Tanks, & Batteries will be 10%.

Use code vapemz at checkout.

17ml will be $4.49, 32ml will be $6.29, 70ml for $9.89, and 125ml for $17.09. Their DIY, Tanks, & Batteries are already pretty cheap but now even cheaper.

Click here for this deal!

TVM_550x200

Former Smokers Sound Off: E-Cig Is Favorite Way to Quit

stop_smokingAccording to Time.com, smokers who are aiming to quit don’t care about stats, regulations or proof that vaping is healthier—they are using e-cigs as smoking cessation tools anyway.

A new study from Kantar Media notes that e-cigs now are more popular to help kick the habit than nicotine gums or patches, now becoming a $2 billion industry (and rapidly climbing).

Another poll on nydailynews.com saw more than half of those surveyed stating that they used e-cigs to help quit smoking. While there is no scientific evidence that the e-cigs actually helped these people kick regular cigarettes, more people now than ever are turning to vaping anyway.

The nydailynews article goes on to say that six million Americans now use electronic cigarettes. More than seven times that use a tobacco or nicotine product, leaving plenty of room for vaping to skyrocket even further.

Industry Questions Raised by MSA Senior VP

msaLogoDon Burke, the senior vice president of Management Science Associates, took a closer look at trends in the e-cigarette and tobacco industries as a whole. Tobacco E-News broke it down for readers in a recent article reran on CSP.net.

E-cigs aren’t just a trend anymore—they are real competition, especially in the convenience store sector. In 2013, 70 percent of e-vapor sales came from c-stores. Only 20 percent of the share came from tobacco.

Data is all over the place. With so much research and so many conflicting reports, retailers are having a tough time understanding the vaping world. Even the way e-cigs are distributed varies from traditional wholesalers, online and direc0to-store. Retailers are hoping for trending research that simplifies the industry in 2015.

What are the true best sellers? Burke reports that everyone says cigalikes are dying, but sale volumes of the traditional e-cigs actually are climbing steadily. Simply put, world of mouth isn’t meshing with the actual numbers.

For the full story, visit http://www.cspnet.com/category-news/tobacco/articles/vapor-trends-watch.

 

University of Rochester Focusing on E-Cig Research

UofRMedicalCenterWe’ve been seeing a lot of e-cigarette research happening internationally, and the University of Rochester Medical Center is putting its name in the hat to the tune of $2.1 million.

The university was awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health in conjunction with the Food and Drug Administration. Researchers will have five years of study according to the grant terms, and the research will help shape future regulations on e-cigs, hookas and miniature cigars.

Researchers will look at the effects of e-cigs not only on humans, but in rodents as well. In addition, studies will look at exposure to newborns and children. Head researcher, Thomas Mariani, Ph.D., has studied cigarettes and lung disease for more than a decade.

For the full story, visit http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/index.cfm?id=4129.