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.

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Johnson campaign first to condemn FDA vaping regs

October 4, 2016

Featured

By COREY NOLES

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson’s campaign has now officially gone on the record condemning the FDA’s regulation of the vaping industry.

To date, no other candidate has weighed in on the issue.Gary Johnson

“In the first debate, voters listened to two candidates dance around the American economy,” said Jim Wallace, national director of the Johnson-Weld campaign. “What you’ll never hear from those candidates is how the economy is being killed by excessive regulation. That just doesn’t make any sense.”

He said that he believes vaping is about to be regulated out of existence.

“The vaping industry currently counts about nine million customers, producing about $4 billion a year in annual sales,” he said, citing figures from industry sources. “With the excessive regulation recently introduced by the FDA, as many as 12,000 vaping businesses will be put out of business.”

The regulations require manufacturers to go through a costly pre-market approval process estimated to cost as much as $300,000 to $1 million per SKU. Most believe that such regulations will simply crush the industry, regulating it out of existence.

“As Gov. Gary Johnson has said, the free market and entrepreneurial spirit should be encouraged, not destroyed,” Wallace said. “Nowhere is this more obvious than the vaping industry.”

Corey Noles is the Editor in Chief of VAPE Magazine. He is also the owner of Inked Up E-Liquid Co. and Busted Knuckle Vapor Fluids. Contact him at corey@vapemz.com.

Letter from the Editor

December 7, 2016

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Dear readers,

Happy holidays!

‘Tis the season for bureaucracy! Look for a ton of information from Right 2 Be Smoke Free on pending litigation as well as some guidance from Azim Chowdhury on how to navigate the FDA registration process that ends this month. Time is short, so this is vital information.

We have a candid interview this month with former Winston Man, David Goerlitz. He is a featured guest in A Billion Lives and knows the tobacco game like few others do. He’s worked both sides of the fence from R.J. Reynolds to all of the key players in the anti-tobacco and anti-vaping movements. He has no qualms with sharing the things he’s seen and heard from both sides over the years.

We at VAPE Magazine want to wish every one of you a very happy holiday season!

Thanks for reading! VAPE on!

Corey Noles
Editor in Chief

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City Ordinance Altered In Kansas To Include Vapor Products In Public Smoking Ban

A 2008 ordinance that banned smoking in Manhattan, Kansas’s public places and places of employment was amended Nov. 15 to include vapor products and is now in effect.

Public buildings and those spaces which are open to the public are included in the ban, where both smoking and vaping are now strictly prohibited, according to The Kansas State Collegian, a daily newspaper at Kansas State University.

Originally, the City Clerk’s office received petitions which led to the proposal of the cigarette ban in August 2008, where tobacco smoking was not allowed in the aforementioned locations throughout the city.

no_electronic_smoking_devices_labelAt the time the ordinance was passed there was no language which mentioned the use of vapor products, so lawmakers felt that the new rule should be added to govern the smoke-free alternatives, The Collegian reports.

Michael Campbell, a physician at Lafene Health Center at Kansas State University, says that primary care physicians strongly discourage smokers from making the switch to vapor products because there are chemicals found in e-cigarettes, that like tobacco smoke, are still toxic.

Campbell’s case against vapor products is one that’s been made by many other physicians like him who make claims that vapor products are not effective in helping smokers quit, but the majority of vapers disagree.

“There is a small vaping community here; it would be sad to see that go…I know it has helped a lot of people stop smoking cigarettes,” Stanley Heeney, a 25-year-old Manhattan resident told The Collegian.

The vape ban will be enforced by the K-State Police Department and Riley Police Department in the same way cigarette smokers are warned to stop the act should they light up in public areas where the current tobacco ordinance is in effect.

To read more on this story, click here for the article that appeared in The Collegian.

VAPE News Magazine December 2016 Cover: Winston Man Revolutionized – David Goerlitz – The Gloves are Off

December 6, 2016

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THE GLOVE ARE OFF

Goerlitz, Former Winston Man, shares the stinky truth

By Corey Noles

David Goerlitz pulls no punches.

The ultimate man’s man in the 1980’s, Goerlitz still comes across with that same edgy bluntness, but in a kind way. Now 66, he has traded in his trademark Winstons (he actually preferred Marlboro, shhh), for a slim vape.

He doesn’t give a damn about clouds and thinks the industry is oversaturated with products and juice manufacturers, but he believes it’s worth saving.

Goerlitz recently sat down with VAPE Magazine between whirlwind trips to premiere’s for Director Aaron Biebert’s documentary, A Billion Lives. As this article was written, he was home in Pennsylvania after trips to Miami, Los Angeles and New York City. This morning he leaves for a three-week international tour that begins in India with stops in several countries, including Estonia.

While the trips keep him busy, there’s far more to Goerlitz’s story than just being an emblazoned member of both sides of the war on (and for) tobacco over three decades.

VM: So, David, let’s start from the beginning. Where are you from? Tell us a little about you growing up.

DG: Well, I’m the youngest of 3 boys from a baptist preacher. We moved 14 times in 6 years and every state we went to was different.

My personality was always very outgoing. I was the class clown in high school. I figured I was better off making them laugh with me than at me.

I got married at 20 and were still married 46 years later.

In 1977-78 I lost a lot of weight — about 75 pounds. I was never athletic. I was never into sports. I was more into theater and places where I could play characters. I decided acting would never be a money maker for me because of my size, so I got a regular job.

But by the time I was 29, I was unhappy. Not with my wife, but with having not taken the initiative to move forward and make something of myself.

It wasn’t until I lost the weight on my own without pills or doctors that I found a new me under that flab. I found a strong chin, blue eyes and high cheek bones, so it was suggested I try modeling.

I was able to get a modeling agency to back me in Philadelphia and that’s when it started coming together.

VM: How and when did you start smoking?

DG: I started smoking at 13. Being the son of a preacher it was kind of odd that three loyal Baptist preachers would be smokers, but we did.

My friends and brothers smoked, so I decided to. As a fat kid, I thought it was something that would make me feel grown up, mature and responsible. That’s what the ads told us we should feel. It was the closest thing I could do to make me feel that way about myself. It was a different time. Older students had a smoking area at school even. I remember teachers taking hits off of our cigarettes in the bathroom because there wasn’t time to go to the teachers lounge.

No one put a gun to my head, I did it willingly.

Heck, You could smoke anywhere — even theaters and the back rows of an airplane.

VM: How many years did you smoke?

DG: From the time I was 13 til 1988 when I quit. I quit publicly on the Great American Smoke Out for my kids. I wasn’t successful so I hid it. I’d come in from the bar with cologne, mouthwash and toothpaste to disguise it.

VM: Were you a Winston smoker.

DG: No. I smoked Marlboros. I only smoked Winston when I was around them. Tobacco is tobacco. It goes to

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the highest bidder at the brokerage house, the difference is the additives.

VM: How did the Winston Man deal come together?

DG: I had agents in NY and Philadelphia. From 1964-1979, the Winston campaign was all construction workers because it was a male cigarette. The women had their own already. I went on an audition call in 1980. I was one of 937 who auditioned and one of 6 to get a callback.

They didn’t want people who had done mouthwash or toothpaste ads, because at the time those were considered conflicting.

I won and got the lead role. I worked for them for almost 7-½ years. The money was great. It paid $100,000 a year for 26 days work. I was featured in 42-44 different ads that ran. Unfortunately, my target was kids. If they don’t get you between 13 and 19, they’re not going to get you for the most part.

VM: At what point did you decide to quit smoking?

DG: November 18, 1988 was the Great American Smoke Out. I promised my kids, particularly my son Kevin, that I would quit smoking.

He was begging me. I quit that day and did an event with the American Cancer Society making it public. I was scared to death. We didn’t have Zyban and Chantix and Nicorette gum. It was either cold turkey or keep smoking.

It lasted a month until a neighbor told me he’d found my dog dead in the road. I went straight out to buy cigarettes. So I cheated, then I quit, then I cheated, then I quit, then I cheated. That went on over and over until finally, it took.

Had I had something like vaping to go to, I think it would have been easier. The ability to cut back slowly and at my own pace would have made a huge difference.

Now somebody is trying to take that right away from millions of smokers and that pisses me off.

VM: You were very involved with the anti-smoking movement after you quit smoking and left RJ Reynolds. Who all were you working for after the transition?

DG: I was working for the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, the World Health Organization, the CDC, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, and eventually, the Truth Initiative.

VM: That reads like a list of the enemies of vaping.

DG: If you read the credits to A Billion Lives, all of those organizations refused to be interviewed. In 2004- 2005, they became as corrupt as the tobacco companies. They tried to script me and wanted me to say things that just weren’t true.

Every year, tobacco companies would spend another $14 billion to replace those who quit and die every day. Those replacements are kids.

I asked Dale Zane, an executive with RJ Reynolds during a shoot at the top of Mt. Evans why they didn’t smoke and was told “We don’t smoke the stuff, we reserve that for young, poor, black, stupid.” Dale Zane, an executive with RJ Reynolds. I testified about that to Congress.

VM: I understand the decision to quit smoking, but when did you decide to get involved in the antismoking movement?

DG: It took two days. When I quit smoking publicly, I got a lot of media attention. That was a great win for the ACS. I have to say, in 1988 and 1989, the movement was reasonable. People were dying of lung cancer. The ACS did strong funding drives and they were becoming a multi-million dollar organization. The salaries were growing, but not enough money was going into research.

Then I began noticing the same

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things with ALS, then AHS, then the CDC.

It was about that time I was approached by Matt Myers from the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.

He wanted all the dirt I could give on RJ Reynolds marketing campaign. His partner was Mitch Zeller, the current head of the FDA Center for Tobacco Products.

With millions quitting smoking because of vaping, if public health was the true goal, vaping should have been celebrated by these organizations. But it wasn’t. Because the game is all about money.

Then the taxes came. It was supposed to be all for the children and antismoking education. With that in mind I became very exposed. I started getting death threats from the tobacco companies. My car caught on fire. My tags were stolen, so I would get stopped by police. They were trying to get me to shut up.

In 1989, U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop began his push for a smoke free class of 2000. They put a lot of money into preventing cigarette companies from marketing to children. I was being paid by all of them to go out and tell the truth about the tobacco companies.

Within a year, the tobacco companies are in cahoots with the ACS, AHS, and ALS to come up with the master settlement agreement. The money was supposed to allow the states to do their own anti-smoking campaigns, but the money never went to that.

VM: Is that when you started to distance yourself from the anti-tobacco movement?

DG: They wanted me to shut up, because I was pissing everyone off. Everybody knows smoking kills and that tobacco companies targeted kids.

That’s one of the things I never understood when vaping came around. With millions quitting smoking because of vaping, if public health was the true goal, vaping should have been celebrated by these organizations. But it wasn’t. Because the game is all about money.

VM: When did you start vaping and how were you turned on to it?

DG: In 2006, I started hearing about the electronic cigarette. By 2007, things were starting to happen with it. You could mimic smoking, inhale a vapor with propylene glycol and glycerine. You got the hit of nicotine, but without the issues created by smoking.

NJoy sued the FDA for blocking shipments of electronic cigarettes being shipped into the country. The judge said the FDA cannot regulate and control because they had not been regulated as a cessation device or a tobacco product.

From there it just started growing. Then it wasn’t long before all the vaping groups started forming because it was working. But at the same time, tobacco was hounding the government to start regulating it.

VM: I believe you told me once that vaping wasn’t a lifestyle for you, just something to keep you from smoking. Can you expand on that a bit?

DG: Unfortunately, the market has become very oversaturated. Smokers don’t necessarily want to quit and join a fraternity, smokers just want to quit. They need something to help them quit. They don’t want 7,000 flavors and hundreds of different mods. They just want it to work. They might graduate into something bigger, but it’s a process.

It’s important that we don’t forget about what smokers need.

In 2013-14, that’s when it got really big. If you look at my websites, I said then the jig is up. The die has been cast. They’re gonna ban it, take it away and give it back to the tobacco companies. The vaping community has about three years before we’re shut down if we don’t do something big and do it quick.

VM: Have you been involved with any companies or organizations in the vape industry outside of A Billion Lives?

DG: I have been trying to find a place in the vaping community for six years, but I’m too politically incorrect. You’ve got all these groups who are trying to do the right thing, but they’re not playing their game, The other side is playing nice and we’re trying to and that’s an uphill battle.

VM: Do you feel like A Billion Lives is helping to bring positive attention to the vaping industry?

DG: It’s being seen in many theaters. Its not going to be a blockbuster like Star Wars. It’s going to be like Super Size Me. It will raise the level of awareness. The difference between obesity and smoking is that we still see smokers as lepers and a waste of society. At least with obesity, people try to get fit. At least with that there are positive attitudes people are trying to change.

Vaping is to cigarettes what Slim Fast is to cheeseburgers. It’s a healthier option. But Slim Fast doesn’t get the mess that vapor does. Supplements aren’t even regulated by the FDA.

If [the government] isn’t going to believe these people who are doctors, lawyers and experts in their fields, we’re going to struggle.

The movie is only one resource. We need more. This all has to be exposed and not just to vapers. To everyone.

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Indiana Vape Shop Robbed, 3 In Custody

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THIS PHOTO IS TAKEN FROM SURVEILLANCE VIDEO OF A BREAK-IN AT VAPIN TONIGHT VAPE SHOP IN SCOTTSBURG, IN.

A group of four individuals made off with $10 thousand in stolen products early Friday morning from a vape shop located in southern Indiana.

Store surveillance cameras captured the scene that shows the break-in at Vapin Tonight last week, where four juveniles appeared to have made multiple trips inside, filling backpacks and pillowcases with whatever they could grab, according to WDRB News.

The shop’s owner claimed that three of the four people responsible for the theft have been taken into police custody and that the recovered products cannot be resold in their current state.

Click here to read more and to watch the WDRB News segment.

Alaska Teen Pleads Guilty To Killing Foster Father Over E-Cig Charger

Peter Henry, 18, pleaded guilty on Dec. 2 to shooting and killing his foster father, Marvell Johnson, back in 2014.

Peter Henry, 18, pleaded guilty on Dec. 2 to shooting and killing his foster father, Marvell Johnson, back in 2014.

An Anchorage man pleaded guilty to first degree murder Friday after admitting to police that he shot and killed his foster father because he took away his e-cigarette charger.

Peter Henry, 18, shot 64-year-old Marvell Johnson multiple times in his east Anchorage home on Oct. 7, 2014, based on findings outlined in Johnson’s autopsy report, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Family members claimed that Johnson and his wife opened their home to foster children for nearly 30 years.

Henry’s sentencing is scheduled for March 30, and as per the plea agreement, he will be facing a prison sentence of 80 years with 20 years suspended, the AP reports.

To read more, click here for the article that appeared on Channel 2 News, KTUU.com.

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