WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) brought its efforts to educate the public on vapor products to Capitol Hill on Thursday.
The Washington, D.C.-based organization hosted a briefing for members of the U.S. Senate to share facts and research about the vapor products industry, and to open a dialogue about sensible regulation of the growing vapor category.
During the meeting, SFATA affirmed its position that vapor products such as electronic cigarettes should not be treated or regulated in the same manner as tobacco products. The association and several member companies also addressed the more than 50 Senate attendees regarding the financial impact on small business owners if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implements too strict or too broad of regulations.
The meeting also featured a panel discussion with industry experts that focused on the latest science supporting vaporizers as an alternative to tobacco. This session addressed issues such as e-liquid safety measures; vapor products and harm reduction; and the economic contribution of the booming vapor industry.
"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 public comment period for proposed regulation of the category will draw to a close Aug. 8.
"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," Cabrera said. "There is a great deal at stake for vapers, and now is the time for their voices to be heard."