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.

eCig Global Series, Las Vegas, September 24-25

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Hot off the back of the sell out London and France editions, the eCig Global Series is now crossing the ocean and arrives to Vegas this September 24th & 25th!

The eCig Vegas: Industry Conference brings together retailers and influential policymakers to discuss the impacts of the proposed regulations, and also take a in-depth look at the core functions of the e-cig retail business including M&A, IP, product marketing and supply chain management.

Three days brimming with exclusive case studies, workshops, interactive sessions, debates and more will deliver the vision, strategy and contacts to drive the electronic cigarette community to a higher level in 2015!

Go to ecig-vegas.com for more info!

Agent VAPE’s Secret Deal: WeVapor.com offers 10ml e-liquid for $2.25

Visit www.wevapor.com for affordable USA made e-liquids. 10ml for 2.49, and a discount code that brings it down to 2.25 with .99 shipping and free shipping available. Discount Code is “ROXON”

Contact Agent VAPE to submit your own secret deal.

10% off at The Vape Mall

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The Vape Mall is offering 10% off their liquid and DIY accessories for today and tomorrow. Use coupon code vapemz at checkout.

17ml bottles become $4.49, 32ml bottles $6.29, 70ml for $9.89, and 125ml for $17.09

Visit The Vape Mall Here!

The Vape Summit, Houston, TX

tvs_logo2-300x176[1]The Vape Summit, Houston, TX, November 7-8

The Vape Summit will take place in Houston, Texas at the NRG Stadium (formerly Reliant Stadium) on November 7 & 8, 2014.

The Vape Summit, Las Vegas at The Hard Rock Hotel on June 13 & 14, 2014 was a huge success. They had over 210 vendors exhibited to an attendance of over 10,000 people, over 1,000 of which were confirmed industry personnel.  Vendors have clamored-acquiring numerous accounts, multiple pre-sale orders, and valuable networking opportunities around the world.

Join them in Houston in November! Go to www.thevapesummit.com to register.

MJS PACKAGING CREATES COMPLETE LINE OF E-LIQUID PACKAGING

MJS Packaging proudly announces the introduction of its new line of E-Liquid Packaging for the growing vaping and e-cigarette markets. This line of bottles, tips and child resistant closures will be completely in stock by June; samples are available immediately. Sizes run from 7ml to 30 ml and include Boston Rounds, Ovals and Cylinders, along with 15mm LDPE snap-fit pointed tips and 15-415 PP CR closures. These CR closures are two-piece, push down & turn, and have passed the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) protocol for child resistant packaging. All components are manufactured in the United States, and will be sold as a complete package (bottle, tip and cap).

These products offer the perfect packaging for this evolving market as it comes under more scrutiny by the FDA. The closures are child resistant while remaining easy for adults to use. Since they are available in existing materials and styles, the need for packaging stability testing is minimized. Labeling and decorating options are also available through MJS Packaging.

Michigan VapeXpo 2014

Michigan VapeXpo 2014, Ann Arbor, MI, October 3-4

Vapexpo has been signed and sealed. Get ready to get your socks knocked off and have a amazing time. This year will be again in Ann Arbor Michigan at the Clarion Hotel. Expect an awesome turnout!

Check out vapexpo.com for more info.

E-Cigarette Makers Are in an Arms Race for Exotic Vapor Flavors

FLAVORS-master675-v3[1]Twista Lime, Kauai Kolada, Caribbean Chill, Mintrigue. Exotic cigarette flavors like those were banned in 2009 out of concern they might tempt young people.

But the flavors tobacco companies once sold look like plain vanilla compared with the flavor buffet now on offer — legally — by the fast-growing electronic cigarette industry.

News on Tuesday that Reynolds American had agreed to buy Lorillard, uniting two of the nation’s biggest tobacco companies, highlighted how important e-cigarettes have become to the declining tobacco industry. Both Reynolds and Lorillard have pushed hard into e-cigarettes, which offer a new way of delivering a puff of nicotine.

For now, those companies’ flavors are relatively modest, though they may feel pressure to expand into the explosion of competition for the consumer palate, with e-cigarette flavors such as banana cream pie and cotton candy.

Reynolds American agreed to buy Lorillard for $27.4 billion, uniting two of the country’s largest tobacco producers.DealBook: To Compete With Altria, Reynolds American Is Buying LorillardJULY 15, 2014
Across the e-cigarette industry, more than 7,000 flavors are now available and, by one estimate, nearly 250 more are being introduced every month. The array of tastes goes far beyond anything cigarette companies ever tried.

A technician filling bottles with the flavored nicotine-laced liquid for electronic cigarettes at a plant in Miami. Credit Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Flavors have become central to the conversation because e-cigarette makers say that the rainbow of tastes differentiates them from deadly cigarettes.

But the claim that e-cigarette flavors won’t attract children has prompted an outcry from some policy makers, who say consumers have been down this road before with tobacco. Federal health authorities have outlawed most cigarette flavorings except menthol, arguing that they lure the young into nicotine addiction. While the Food and Drug Administration has proposed regulations for e-cigarettes, it has not limited marketing or flavors, which the agency is studying.

At a Senate committee hearing in late June, lawmakers denounced manufacturers for marketing practices that they said appealed to children, including the embrace of flavors that are forbidden in ordinary cigarettes.

“I’m ashamed of you,” Senator Jay Rockefeller, Democrat of West Virginia, told several executives. “You’re what’s wrong with this country.”

Jason Healy, the president of Blu eCigs, told the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation that the average age of people using cherry flavored e-cigarettes, for example, was 40. Such flavors “decrease the ability or possibility of adult users who use e-cigs switching back” to cigarettes, he said. Blu eCigs, a subsidiary of Lorillard, is being sold to the British company Imperial as part of the deal announced on Tuesday. Lorillard and Reynolds said they would focus their e-cigarette efforts on Reynolds’ product Vuse, which in June was introduced in 15,000 stores nationwide.

For now, Vuse has only two flavors, original cigarette flavor and menthol, but the market is changing quickly as evidenced by the experience of other leading e-cigarette companies. Most notable is the experience of NJOY, which has turned to flavors to help stanch plummeting market share.

Ten months ago, NJOY’s chief executive, Craig Weiss, said in an interview that other manufacturers used flavorings “to attract children.” NJOY, he said then, was avoiding candy- and fruit-like flavorings, in part because “they drive regulators crazy.”

NJOY’s investors include Sean Parker, the Napster co-founder and former president of Facebook, and Bruno Mars, the pop star.

But NJOY’s share of the convenience store market has gone into free fall, dropping more than half in the last year to less than 10 percent, according to Wells Fargo Securities. Consumer surveys suggest that most people who use e-cigarettes — including those who have smoked — tend to prefer flavors other than tobacco. In the next few weeks, NJOY plans to expand into flavors like “Butter Crumble” and “Black and Blue Berry.” Mr. Weiss said in an interview that the company had little choice after focus groups showed that flavors were “critical.”

A growing number of e-cigarette users are ordering their products online and in specialized stores, instead of convenience stores.
“Flavor is essential to vapers’ satisfaction,” Mr. Weiss said. He added that research funded by his company showed that flavors “provide no additional appeal to youth.”

The e-cigarette market is rapidly shifting, and flavors are central to that. Viking Vapor, one of hundreds of websites selling e-cigarettes, offers 13 pages of alphabetized flavors, from Apple to Watermelon Menthol. But the market for disposable e-cigarettes, commonly found in convenience stores and sold by the likes of NJOY, Vuse and Blu eCigs, appears to be slowing — consumers seemed to be switching to more powerful devices, analysts said. According to Wells Fargo, consumer sales of e-cigarettes at convenience stores fell 17 percent in the month that ended June 7, after falling 10 percent the month earlier — the first time since e-cigarettes came onto the market that consumers spent less at convenience stores. Wells Fargo hypothesized that sales were gravitating to the Internet and “vape” stores, where figures are harder to measure.

Some in public health circles see the debate over flavorings as a sideshow. The central question, they say, is whether e-cigarettes are effective tools to get people to stop smoking tobacco. Others say the issue of flavors crystallizes the debate about the risks and benefits of these products, which many consider far safer than conventional cigarettes. At the same time, there is widespread concern that use of e-cigarettes will renormalize the act of smoking and invite in a new generation of participants, particularly through the lure of flavors.

Flavors like “Banana Split,” are more popular than traditional tobacco tastes. Credit Nick Oxford for The New York Times
Continue reading the main story

”It defies logic to think that such flavors would not make e-cigarette use more appealing and even normal for children,” said James Pankow, a chemistry professor at Portland State University in Oregon, who has studied cancer risk from cigarettes.

Mr. Weiss of NJOY, hoping to address personal concerns about flavors, funded a study this year to see if the company’s new flavors would appeal to young nonsmokers. The study, an online survey conducted by Saul Shiffman, a pharmaceutical industry consultant and psychology professor at the University of Pittsburgh, found that young people were not particularly attracted to the flavors. Flavors did make e-cigarettes more attractive to adult smokers, Professor Shiffman concluded.

Senator Richard J. Durbin, an Illinois Democrat who has called for e-cigarettes to be regulated like conventional cigarettes, said that those results came as no surprise given that NJOY paid for the research.

R.J. Reynolds recently introduced its Vuse line of electronic cigarettes, in just two flavors, original and menthol. Credit RJ Reynolds
“Let me be as dismissive as possible: When they start talking about their own research, I say ‘been there, done that,’ “ Mr. Durbin said in an interview. “We listened to those tobacco companies for decades while their so-called experts tried to divert our attention from the obvious.”

Mr. Weiss said NJOY did not influence the findings. “I get the appearance of a — ‘quote-un-quote’ — industry funded study,” he said. “But we didn’t have time to get it funded by a third party.”

In reality, the study took only a few weeks, Mr. Shiffman said, allowing for the possibility that other studies could be done quickly by independent sources. Asked about that prospect, Mr. Weiss said: “What’s the magic number of studies? Two studies? Four studies?”
r ago, NJOY, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., named to its board Dr. Richard H. Carmona, the former surgeon general who had been an ardent foe of tobacco companies. Before joining the NJOY board, Dr. Carmona said he asked the company about the use of flavors and was told it “was not on the table at that time.”

Dr. Carmona, who also works at a nonprofit health organization, the Canyon Ranch Institute, said that NJOY’s research was a good start but that it was critical that independent researchers validate the findings. Like Mr. Weiss, Dr. Carmona said he was willing to take the chance and go forward, given that e-cigarettes have the potential to get people to stop smoking conventional cigarettes.

“Research like that could take months or years,” Dr. Carmona said. “So we go with a theory, we go with a hypothesis. It’s no different than any other market.”

Read more here.

Vapor Dynasty Expo 2014

Vapor Dynasty Expo 2014 in Phoenix, AZ, October 24-26

Located in the Heart of Downtown Phoenix at the Phoenix Convention Center. Get ready for over 150 exhibitors with 34,000 sq ft of vaping attractions. This will be Two Electrifying Days of Vaping Madness. Exhibitors from all over the world will be showing off their amazing sizzling products and accessories that will leave you in a haze. Trying to cut back on cigarettes and/or quit? Or if you are a pro that is looking to find the upcoming and latest vapor products then Vapor Dynasty Expo is for you. They will be having numerous vapor industry celebrities speaking on various topics including vaping safety and awareness. There will be raffles, giveaways and a prized re-builders and cloud chasing battle competition. Vapor Dynasty Expo 2014 will take you on the most enchanted vapor journey of your life, introduce to you all the finest electronic cigarette & vaping products on the market, and teach our vaping community about safety, building and benefits of choosing vapor.

For sponsorship and booths, please contact info@vapordynastyexpo.com.

How An EU Ecig Ban Could Send One Million People Back To Smoking

In January, ecigarettedirect.co.uk conducted a survey of 1600 vapers to get their reaction to a vaping ban. Why this survey? The EU government and the UK Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority (MHRA) have been pushing for the medicalisation of electronic cigarettes. The MHRA has said this would mean a ban on every electronic cigarette device available today. Even if companies can invent a device which can meet the requirements, refillable devices are likely to be banned. To our knowledge, no impact assessment as been carried out which will assess the effect on vapers. At the very least, we hope this survey will encourage authorities to look at the impact of an effective ban on ecigarettes. Who took the survey? A total of 1651 people took the survey (if you were one of them – thank you!) 18 were disqualified because they did not use electronic cigarettes. Respondents were recruited via social media, our blog and our newsletters.

What Vapers Said:

“If you could no longer buy electronic cigarettes, would you return to traditional tobacco cigarettes?”

61.4% of people replied yes, 12.9% said no and 25.6% weren’t sure.

If everyone who said yes returned to cigarettes, 921,000 ex-smokers would return to cigarettes (based on Professor West’s of SmokingInEngland‘s estimate of 1,500,000 vapers in the UK today).

However, if some of the people who answered “not sure” returned to cigarettes, that could mean that an EU Ban would lead to million vapers returning to smoking tobacco.

“If you couldn’t buy refillable ‘Tank’ style electronic cigarettes , but you could still buy the traditional looking ‘cigalike’ style electronic cigarettes, would you return to tobacco cigarettes?”

Refillable ecigarettes have worked for many people who didn’t find cigalikes a satisfying alternative to smoking.

46.5% of vapers said they would return to tobacco cigarettes if refillable ecigs are banned.

That’s equivalent to almost 700,000 people.

Read more at ecigarettedirect.co.uk.

VIP Vape Street, Salt Lake City, UT July 25-27

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This is the first real Vape expo in the midwest! This Salt Lake City, Utah Vapor trade show will be something to remember!

ViP Events is holding its First Annual ViP Vape Street! It will be held at the nationally known Utah State Fairgrounds in Salt Lake City, UT. This is a 3 day outdoor event, hosting over 100 local and nationwide vendors. ViP Vape Street 2014 will attract many Customers, eJuice Companies, Distributors, Manufacturers, Retailers & most importantly MEDIA! ViP Vape Street is going to be awesome, controversial, fun, attention grabbing, loud, smoky, sexy, new, profitable and enlightening! There will be food & concessions, Your Favorite Vendors, Local Bands & Live Music, Event Contests, Vendor giveaway’s, Sexy ViP Vixens, Lots of Vapor, Beer Garden, New Products and accessories, Vendor Specials & Discounts, & Tons of FUN! There will be plenty of sponsors, radio ads, banner ads and word of mouth marketing to make sure this event will be huge. There really hasn’t been anything like this in this state. That alone will draw a lot of attention and we are very excited! It will be the 1st of many more ViP Vape Street’s here in Utah and around the country! Don’t miss out on the action! Spread the word! Friend’s don’t let friend’s miss out on a good time!!

Date’s and Time’s:

Friday: Doors open at 2 p.m. and Close at 10 p.m.
Saturday: Doors open at 10 a.m. and Close at 10 p.m.
Sunday: Doors open at 10 a.m. and Close at 6 p.m.

On the Stage:

  • Live Music Starts at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday evening.
  • Huge cloud contests – Winner gets a mod kit, 50ml of gourmet eJuice and a trophy
  • Trick cloud contests – Winner gets a mod kit, 50ml of gourmet eJuice and a trophy
  • Best of show: eJuice – Winner gets the Platinum Sponsor package for the next ViP Vape Street, T-Shirts, 5 gallon bucket of vegetable glycerin and a Best of Show trophy!
  • Best of show: Vendor booth – Winner gets the Platinum Sponsor package for the next ViP Vape Street, T-Shirts, 5 gallon bucket of vegetable glycerin and a Best of Show trophy!
  • Sexiest ViP Vixen contest – Winner gets a ViP Vape Street Vixen outfit, a photoshoot, eJuice and a Mod starter kit.

General Admission tickets can be purchased in advance by clicking “Get a Ticket“. The button is also on the home page. Tickets will also be sold at the door during ViP Vape Street.

General Admission Ticket Price:

Friday, July 25, 2014: $10.00
Saturday, July 26, 2014: $12.00
Sunday, July 27, 2014: $12.00
3-Day Weekend Pass: $20.00
3-Day Vendor Pass: $25.00

Please Note: ViP Event’s Management will be checking I.D.’s at the door, only admitting people 19 years of age and older. 21 if you will be consuming alcohol.