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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As the industry still waits for rules regulating electronic cigarettes, representatives from 24 e-cigarette companies descended on Capitol Hill recently to talk with elected officials.
The event, organized by the Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA), was held Nov. 4-5. During their two days in Washington, D.C. the companies participated in a series of nearly 50 meetings with congressional officials.
"Our very first Washington, D.C., fly-in was a strong success for all who attended,” said Cynthia Cabrera, executive director of SFATA. "This was a great opportunity for lawmakers to hear directly from the electronic cigarette industry and to learn more about the negative impact inappropriate regulation could have on this nascent industry."
To help provide a framework for meaningful industry standards, SFATA is drafting proposed federal legislation.
"SFATA understands the need for reasonable and product-specific regulation and is engaging the [Food and Drug Administration] and legislators on that issue. We want this industry -- the overwhelming majority of which is made up of small businesses -- to be regulated in a manner that does not limit adult access to electronic alternatives [of] traditional tobacco products or stifle growth and innovation," Cabrera added.
In its Capitol Hill meetings, SFATA representatives and member companies discussed specific areas of interest to the industry, such as the effect that regulating personal vaporizing products like e-cigs as tobacco products would have on the industry. SFATA asked lawmakers to either reject the proposed deeming regulation, or issue an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making (ANPRM) to permit the industry time to comment on the distinct differences between tobacco products and smoke-free alternatives.
The Miami-based association is planning another day on Capitol Hill and will release details on the SFATA website in the coming weeks. In addition, SFATA’s second annual e-cigarette industry update will take place Jan. 27 in Las Vegas.
SFATA is dedicated to the advocacy, education and reputation of the electronic cigarette industry. The association's primary concern is the fair regulation of electronic cigarettes in a way that creates an even playing field for all companies in the market.