A new vape industry group is promising to fight tooth and nail against “junk science,” severe regulations and widespread misinformation about e-cigarettes.
The Washington, D.C.-based Vapor Technology Association (VTA) represents manufacturers, importers, wholesalers, distributors, suppliers and retailers and boasts 70 members since being launched Jan. 27.
“One of the biggest challenges we face as an industry – and one that our industry has been outflanked on up until this point – is the rampant misinformation disseminated about our technology,” says Tony Abboud, VTA national legislative director. “Let’s be clear: vapor products are not only a safer alternative to traditional combustible products, but they also provide thousands upon thousands of Americans with a viable path to reduce tobacco smoking and even quit altogether.”
The VTA cites research data from Public Health England showing e-cigarettes to be 95 percent safer than regular cigarettes. Unlike in the US, the public health community in the UK is relatively united on the merits of e-cigarettes as a viable option for smokers to quit.
“So, it should surprise no one that FDACenter for Tobacco Products Director Mitch Zeller, a life-long anti-smoking advocate, stated: ‘If we could get all those people [who smoke] to completely switch all of their cigarettes to noncombustible cigarettes, it would be good for public health,‘” Abboud argues.
The VTA takes direct aim at some of the most prominent public health groups in America such as the American Lung Association (ALA) and the American Heart Association (AHA). These groups have been vocally opposed to e-cigarettes and have demanded greater regulation of the product.
The AHA even went so far as to say it regretted teens rejecting tobacco cigarettes for e-cigarettes.
“Yet in the absence of any legitimate scientific evidence, these groups have decided they are going to do everything they can to kill the hope of vapor products. ‘Unscientific’ does not go far enough in describing the types of messages that these groups and their allies are disseminating. Rather, ‘dangerous’ is a more apt term,” Abboud said in a statement.
“Blatant misinformation and junk science has been circulated in the public domain for too long by these once-vanguards of public health. Rather than embrace the hope that vapor products provide, they mislead American citizens and our policymakers.”
Public opinion on e-cigarettes has become decidedly more hostile in recent years with an increasing number of Americans believing e-cigarettes are just are harmful as tobacco and should be taxed and regulated in a similar fashion.
The biggest challenge facing the VTA is the Food and Drug Administration’s so-called “deeming regs” that are expected to be published in the summer. The FDA’s rules will require all e-cigarette products released after Feb. 15, 2007 to undergo the costly Pre-Market Tobacco Applications (PMTA) process. The PMTA process for each individual product can run between $2-10 million.
Vaping businesses, which typically sell dozens if not hundreds of these products, will not be able to meet this financial burden – meaning they will have to close their doors – destroying around 99 percent of the e-cigarette market and effectively prohibiting the majority of e-cigarette products.
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