Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association

Response from Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) Regarding Proposed Assembly Bill A9303A/S6939A

 

Albany, NY -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/14/2014 -- As an industry, The Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) and our New York retailers oppose assembly bill A9303A/S6939A. As currently proposed, this bill would eliminate the personal electronic vaporizer market in the State of New York; denying consumers access to innovative technology and shuttering businesses across the state.

In New York State, the vapor industry, which includes electronic cigarettes, is driven by more than 400 brick and mortar locations serving adults of legal age who seek an alternative to tobacco consumption. Unlike tobacco companies that are attempting to dominate the larger e-cig market, New York is unique in that many vape store owners are independent entrepreneurs who care about the quality of the products they sell and their local customers.

Hundreds of thousands of adult users claim personal electronic vaporizers have helped them switch from using combustible tobacco products. In fact, former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona has stated that he believes these products “may be the most promising weapon yet in the fight against tobacco-related illness and death in the last several decades.”

Many in the public health community see personal electronic vaporizers as an alternative for smokers to reduce their health risk from diseases caused by tobacco use, a product known to kill hundreds of thousands of smokers each year. Mitch Zeller, Director, Center for Tobacco Products, Food and Drug Administration, says, “If a current smoker, otherwise unable or unwilling to quit, completely substituted all of the combusting cigarettes that they smoked with an electronic cigarette at the individual level, that person would probably be significantly reducing their risk.”

Dr. Andrew Hyland, Chairman of the Department of Health Behavior at Roswell Park Cancer Institute made similar comments before the New York State Senate Health Committee during his testimony on Monday regarding electronic cigarettes and said “there is reason to be hopeful about their potential to reduce the disease burden caused by tobacco.”

Further, as an industry, our members do not market or sell to minors in retail locations or online, and have long supported federal age restrictions on the purchase of vapor products, as well as childproof packaging and proper labeling for e-cigarettes and personal vaporizers. We support age verification laws that forbid sales of vapor products such as electronic cigarettes to minors. We are fully aligned with FDA in this regard and support the prohibition on access to those under 18 as proposed in FDA’s Deeming Regulations.

SFATA believes this bill could remove the personal electronic vaporizer from the market entirely in the state of New York, eliminating small businesses, and deprive smokers of a valuable alternative to combustible cigarettes. SFATA is pleased that the issue of potentially banning e-liquids was not heard yesterday.

About SFATA
The Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association is dedicated to the advocacy, education, and reputation of the vapor products industry. As the largest trade association of its kind, with more than 130 members, SFATA builds the networks necessary to support campaigning and research endeavors paramount to the future of the industry. For more information, visit SFATA.org, email info@sfata.org or call 218-22- SFATA.