Taking a Look at The Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association
October 22nd, 2013
Taking a Look at The Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association
October 22, 2013
Taking a Look at The Smoke Free Alternatives
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.
Quit Smoking Network Chooses Smith and Ramsay Brands as Primary Supplier
December 17, 2014
The Agent received a press release this morning, announcing that Avalanche Int’l subsidiary will provide Avatar Vape Pens and Signature e-liquids to program participants.
Avalanche International, Corp. announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Smith and Ramsay Brands, LLC, has been selected as the primary supplier of the Quit Smoking Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing alternatives to those seeking to reduce or quit smoking tobacco products. The Quit Smoking Network has indicated it will feature the Avatar Vape Pen and the Smith and Ramsay brand of premium naturally flavored e-liquids as their recommended choices in their “harm reduction” program. The company recently announced that an Italian government sanctioned and sponsored clinical study released Nov. 15, 2014 found that as much as 92 percent of the study’s participants experienced a reduction in smoking traditional tobacco products over four months from a group of life long smokers with individual histories of 20 years or more and labeled as smoking-cessation resistant.
Philip E. Mansour, president and CEO of Smith and Ramsay Brands, LLC, was quoted in the release: “Current estimates are 42.1 million people, or 18.1 percent of all adults (aged 18 years or older), in the United States smoke cigarettes. Cigarette smoking is more common among men (20.5 percent) than women (15.8 percent). Mostly importantly, 68.9 percent of adult smokers want to stop smoking with even more wanting to reduce their use. Given these simple statistics, we believe we have a wonderful opportunity to help the Quit Smoking Network positively affect American lives and grow our business in providing quality products as vaping continues to become more popular and traditional in our society.”
The release continued:
The company disclosed that the Quit Smoking Network was impressed with the clinical study by the Italian Observatory for Smoking, Alcohol and Drug Use at the Institute of Health (ISS) in collaboration with the San Giovanni Bosco Hospital Smoking Center ASL TO2 of Turin. The four-month study chose 34 volunteers, 18 men and 16 women, with histories of smoking 20 cigarettes or more a day for at least 20 years and a mean age of 40. The experiment measured many factors including the amount of carbon monoxide in the breath and blood to demonstrate the degree of toxins absorbed in the body. The study used only the Avatar vape pen and e-Liquids along with proprietary replacement components supplied by the manufacturing and distribution partners of Smith and Ramsay Brands, LLC. Smith and Ramsay Brands is the distributor of the Avatar line of products throughout the United States as featured at www.AvatarVapePen.com. The presentation of the test results are available atwww.AvalancheInternationalCorp.com/ItalianClinicalStudyResults11152014.
Smith and Ramsay Brands is a manufacturer and distributor of flavored “smoking” vaporizer liquids for electronic vaporizers and cigarettes and recently began its national rollout of its signature branded, premium e-Liquid, Smith and Ramsay along with the distribution of the innovative Avatar vapor pen and premium e-Liquids. Both product lines now featured online atwww.SmithandRamsay.com and the Avatar vapor pen and e-Liquids are available at www.AvatarVapePen.com. The company’s web domain is www.AvalancheInternationalCorp.com.
About Avalanche International Corp
Avalanche International, Corp is a Nevada corporation and holding company currently with one wholly owned subsidiary, Smith and Ramsay Brands, LLC, a manufacturer and distributor of e-Liquids for the burgeoning e-Vapor marketplace. The e-Vapor marketplace serves as an alternative to cigarettes and other traditional tobacco smoking habits and has been rapidly expanding over the past 5 years. The Company manufactures its signature brand of e-Liquid, Smith and Ramsay, a line that features all natural flavors that are produced in an environment formerly FDA approved. The Company’s goal is to maintain a high standard of quality including to always ensure that the environment, processes and procedures continue to meet or exceed guidelines of the FDA, and are in line with ISO and cGMP standards.
About Quit Smoking Network
A nonprofit organization of individuals focused on the education of tobacco smokers about harm reduction and minimizing the use of traditional tobacco products. We provide support and information to anyone who has the desire to reduce or quit smoking, conduct advocacy efforts on behalf of vaping, and harm reduction efforts. This includes support of candidates and legislation that supports harm reduction practices or eliminates their prohibition. We conduct fundraising campaigns and activities to finance our operations as well as sales of products and services.
Forward-looking & Safe Harbor Statement Certain statements in this news release may contain forward-looking information within the meaning of Rule 175 under the Securities Act of 1933 and Rule 3b-6 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and those statements are subject to the safe harbor created by those rules. All statements, other than statements of fact, included in this release, including, without limitation, statements regarding potential future plans and objectives of the Company, are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. The Company cautions that these forward-looking statements are further qualified by other factors. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any statements in this release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Tobacco Scientist, Toxicology Consultant Presents at FDA E-Cig Workshop
December 16, 2014
Sole member and principal, chemistry and toxicology at Lauterbach & Associates LLC Dr. John H. Lauterbach, was one of the presenters at the recent FDA Public Workshop on Electronic Cigarettes and Public Health, according to a release sent to the Agent.
“Keeping it Cheap and Simple While Others Call for Costly Complexity,” showed how the safety of some types of e-cigarettes had improved to the point where such products could be regulated by consensus standards instead of by complex and costly testing that is currently required for conventional tobacco-burning cigarettes and other tobacco products.
The release stated that Lauterbach’s proposal would reduce the need for vape shops and other small e-cigarettes to have to test their products by costly and complex chemical analyses and biological assays.
“Scientists from L&ALLC had already made presentations this year on the testing of e-cigarettes and e-liquids (aka e-juice) at the CORESTA Congress, the 68th Tobacco Science Research Conference, the 248th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, and the 53rd Annual L&ALLC was established in 2004 to provide chemistry, toxicology, tobacco science and regulatory affairs support to the small business tobacco manufacturers and importers,” the release said.
For more information, visit www.lauterbachandassociates.net.
Ontario, Canada Vaping Restrictions Under Heavy Consideration
Toronto, Canada-based BlogTO.com reports that restrictions in Ontario are being heavily considered. New legislation would ban the sale of flavored tobacco, which includes menthol cigarettes.
E-cigs will be banned in the same places analog cigs are (i.e. restaurants, bars, parks and more). Minors under the age of 19 can’t buy any tobacco or e-cigarette products.
If the legislation passes, the age restriction portion goes in to effect Jan. 1, 2016, while the public vaping and flavored tobacco ban wouldn’t take place until January 2017. There is, however, a patio smoking ban that will go into effect Jan. 1 of 2015.
The weather outside is gearing up to be frightful, and during these chilly months vapers have an advantage—they don’t have to go outside to vape. Except, in many towns across the nation, they do.
Just as swiftly as vaping has taken over the nation, so have the subsequent banning of vaping in places where analog cigarettes are banned. They are being treated as one in the same, making for a tough battle for the American Vaping Association. AssociationsNow.com reports that Gregory Conley, president of the AVA, spoke out last month about proposed banning legislation in Madison, Wis. in particular.
“It is especially cruel to ban vaping in a city known for its frigid temperatures. For many smokers, the ability to stay out of the cold acts as a powerful incentive to give up cigarettes and switch to vaping,” AVA President Gregory Conley said in a statement. “This ordinance would senselessly ban vaping in all of Madison’s seven dedicated vape shops. … Many bars and restaurants in Madison welcome vaping, while others do not. In light of the complete absence of evidence showing harm from e-cigarette vapor, Madison should continue to allow businesses to set their own policies.”
The AVA celebrated the Great American Smokeout last month, and Conley said that the AVA had the same goal in mind—to reduce and eliminate smoking. However, the ACS Cancer Action Network didn’t share his sentiments. Their organization urges the regulation of e-cigarettes, citing them as tobacco products just the same.
Buffalo, N.Y.; Boulder, Colo.; and Bloomington, Minn. are the latest cities with vaping ban news.
In Buffalo, all vaping products are illegal if sold to minors, due to an ordinance passed on the third reading at a recent City Council meeting. The vote was unanimous, according to SheridanMedia.com. It also is illegal to purchase and then give products to minors.
The Boulder City Council still is in “consideration mode” of two versions of banning, reported by the Daily Camera. The versions both vary on an outdoor smoking ban, “one that includes e-cigarettes and one that does not.” Both will be voted on Jan. 20. Several public places already have bans in place, and the Boulder County Public Health department has went on record saying it supports banning e-cigs.
The Star Tribune in Bloomington reports that its City Council also recently voted 7-0 to ban e-cigs in public places. The ban extends to sampling in the two vaping shops currently in the city, making this the strictest ban in our wrap-up list.
Chicago Juice Mob E-Liquids Makes Formal Introduction
December 14, 2014
The Agent has just received word: Chicago Juice Mob E-Liquids wishes to formally introduce themselves along with wishing everyone a Happy Holidays!
Analysts Take Closer Look at Proposed Arizona E-Cig Tax
December 13, 2014
As many of the Agent’s readers say, many proposed taxes on e-cigs coming in the New Year could be about one thing: money.
JRN.com, based out of Phoenix, reports that the state’s Legislature’s budget analysts took a look at taxing electronic cigarettes. The revenue from that could bring in an average of $6 milllion a year, helping to whittle down the state’s $1 billion budget deficit.
That rate depends on the percentage taxed, which the analysts say could be between $284,000 and $13.5 million.
As in most states, lawmakers who are for e-cigs as a way to stop smoking are opposed to the extra tax.
MarkTen e-cigarette company had a great marketing plan in place—or so they thought. According to WDRB.com, based out of Louisville, KY, MarkTen company representatives sought out two test markets to mail e-cigarettes to. The plan apparently has raised concerns.
Clark County Tobacco Prevention Coordinator Annie Reiss told WDRB that she received calls from people who received unsolicited products in the mail. It raised obvious concerns over mailing e-cigs, something that children could get their hands on or something that could combust in a package.
Spokesperson David Sylvia with Nu Mark—part of MarkTen’s parent company Altria—explained to WDRB taht the company only sent out a coupon, battery and recharging kit, but not the cartridge needed to make it all work.”He said the addresses came from the company’s adult tobacco consumer database, made up of people 21 and older who signed up for direct mail from the company.”
Gainesville, Fla. is the latest city to treat vaping the same as cigarette smoking, according to WCJB.com.
The Gainesville City Commission has voted to ban e-cigarettes wherever analog smoking is prohibited, much like hundreds of cities across the country. The list of banned areas includes restaurants and parks.
VISTA, a Tampa-based organization, spoke out during the meeting against the ban.
Kevin Skipper, VISTA president, said during the Gainesville City Commission meeting, “Vote no tonight or table it for tonight and give us four weeks, we’ll put together the best presentation you’ve ever seen about electronic cigarettes. Bring in industry experts and tell them how it’s beneficial for your community.” Both smokers and non-smokers in the community were against the ordinance, saying that e-cigs do not “bother” people in the same way that analog cigarettes do.
The Commission passed the ordinance anyway, citing underage people not knowing the difference.
There are five aspects that a lot of people get wrong about vaping, according to an article excerpted by Gizmodo.com.
The site’s top five include: “everything” being called an e-cig, even though there are a multitude of devices; e-liquid ingredients aren’t a mystery; how much nicotine vapers actually use; vapor versus cigarette smoke; and vaping does help smokers quit.
The writer actually works IN the vaping industy and has a vested interest, however Gizmodo also linked to a story rebutting the author’s points.