|By Marketwired .||
|July 25, 2014 10:10 AM EDT||
WASHINGTON, DC -- (Marketwired) -- 07/25/14 -- The Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA), the largest trade group dedicated to advocacy, awareness and education in the vapor products industry, hosted a briefing Thursday for Senate members to outline facts, share research, and promote a dialogue about sensible regulation of the rapidly growing vapor products category. As the largest association of vapor product distributors, manufacturers, and retailers in the United States, SFATA affirmed its stance that vapor products such as electronic cigarettes should not be treated or regulated in the same manner as harmful tobacco products. SFATA and several member companies addressed more than 50 attendees regarding the financial impact on small business owners should overly strict or broad FDA regulations be implemented.
SFATA members and officers were joined by a panel of leading experts for a discussion focusing on the latest science supporting vaporizers as an alternative to tobacco for many smokers. The session addressed issues of mutual concern, such as e-liquid safety measures; vapor products and harm reduction; and the economic contribution of the booming industry. The panel stressed that the vapor products category is made up of small independent operators, not large tobacco companies.
"Our goal was to bring legislators up to date on the technology and science behind vapor products, to communicate our point of view on appropriate future regulation, and share the industry standards that have been set by stakeholders," said Cynthia Cabrera, Executive Director of SFATA. "The briefings were beneficial for both sides; we welcome feedback from members, and, for our part, we urge that future regulatory decisions be based on current science."
Cabrera also called for SFATA members and other industry players to participate in the dialogue by forwarding their comments to FDA officials as the comments period for proposed regulation of the category draws to a close on August 8. Nearly 20,000 comments have been logged to date, many from vapers and small business owners throughout the U.S. who wish to share their experiences. Many consumers, as well as the businesses who serve them, have taken advantage of the opportunity to explain why excessive regulation could deprive consumers of an alternative to combustible cigarettes and drastically curb industry growth, particularly among smaller, independent players.
"We shared industry facts with legislators, but it's important for individual vapers and other businesses with a stake in the regulatory outcome to share their point of view with decision-makers prior to the comment deadline," says Cabrera. "There is a great deal at stake for vapers, and now is the time for their voices to be heard."
Founded in 2012, The Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association is the largest trade association in the vapor products industry. With 213 members, SFATA builds the networks necessary to support grassroots efforts and research endeavors important to the future of the industry. For more information, visit SFATA.org, email [email protected] or call 202-251-1661.