View the Official FDA Announcement HERE.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has extended their crazy application deadline by four years and promises "a greater awareness" of vaping's health advantages. Vaping will not die in 2018! There is still a lot of work to do, but this is a GIANT step forward!
View the Official FDA Announcement HERE.
While we have a multi-pronged federal strategy to
save this industry, ONE activity requires immediate and full participation from you.
I cannot overstate the importance of this ONE thing we must focus on right now. Today. If you are ready to help...
This is mission critical and supersedes all other activations which may serve as a distraction to accomplishing this single specific task at the precise time it needs to be carried out, if it is to work.
What is this "one thing?"
We must get YOUR Congressmen to fight to get the predicate date updated in the federal budget bill which is right now being decided amongst key members of Congress.
This will only rise to a level of concern if your Congressman hears from enough voters impacted by the loss of this industry.
We know there are truly enough voters out there who:
Use the products, or
Sell the products, or
Sell TO our industry, or
Love someone in any of those categories.
That number of people, if you add up all of these categories, is likely in the tens of millions voters who care! But, they don't know they should be acting right NOW unless you tell them. This makes you very important in this whole effort. Do you see?
But, YOU must act today. You are the lynchpin. And, if you do nothing? You may be the bottleneck stopping up the effort from dozens or hundreds of additional voter voices. It all starts with you! Because, you are reading this and can share it in all of the places you are able.
You are the connection between SFATA and this entire universe of vapor-loving population. It all starts with you and your willingness to set aside a small amount of time to step up.
I believe in you and the power of our combined voices to get this done!
In fact, I'm counting on it and have already assured the folks I work with in Washington DC that they will be hearing from an army of voters who want to see this Congress move on this quickly.
Will you prove me right, today?
Here is the priority "ask" I'm making of you to save vapor products from being banned in America.
It has three easy parts:
1. Click here to personally contact your Congressmen, asking them to fight to keep the Cole-Bishop Amendment in the budget bill that modernizes the predicate date and saves your business.
Get every single one of your employees to do the same using the consumer link. You can even track participation to make sure your own team is all doing their part to "Stop the Vape Ban."
Get creative! Ask entire staff to check a box next to their name on a list when they have completed the task and then celebrate your company's contribution to the cause when everyone has done it with a staff pizza party.
2. Click here to download and print materials to share with customers in your shops or the shops of your retail customers, if you are a manufacturer. Have them activate quickly from their smartphones while you ring them out on their sale!
We have made this so easy for you! There are posters, flyers, and even some with tear-off sheets for your customers to take and go if in a hurry! Here is a sample.
If you have an email list for your customers, email your entire list with THIS LINK and encourage all to act today to protect their access to vapor products.
3. Get every single one of your company's service providers to participate by forwarding them this email so they will also do items #1 and #2 on this list.
Their income is directly tied to your company's survival. Make sure they understand it is important to you, as their customer, that they do this simple activity. Tell the people who make money because you are in business that you need their help spreading the word and sending Congress a clear message!
Specifically, these links throughout this email will take you to an easy activation sitewhere you can click and send a request that your Congressmen.
You will be asking him/her for a commitment to fight to preserve the predicate date modernization language contained in the Cole-Bishop Amendment, which is currently already embedded in Section 747 of the House Agriculture Appropriations Bill. We need that language to "hold" and stay in the final bill they vote out and send to the President.
We have made it easy for you by pre-writing some things you can say to them on a call, or write to them in an email, or tweet to them.
You will find all of that done for you already at the links throughout this email. Now you just need to do your part here. Click, share, and encourage everyone else to do the same today!
If you like technical details, CLICK HERE to read more.
Despite the tremendous efforts we are making with the rest of our strategy, this may be our best chance to change the predicate date so our products can stay on the market.
Will you pitch in today and do your part?
We know that working in unison and cooperatively with others is the best bet we have as an industry to survive this.
So, please share this alert with others who may not be SFATA members!
Executive Director, SFATA
P.S. I appreciate the commitment our SFATA members make every day to being part of the solution and responsible business owners. Please don't click awayfrom this email without first clicking through and sending a quick message to your own Congressmen!
Do you have an e-cigarette success story to share? The American Vaping Association's collection of success stories are a powerful response to those who want to restrict access to e-cigarettes and other smoke-free products.
Click the button below to share your testimonial and read experiences from papers across the U.S. and the world.
Stefan Didak from SFATA USA presents at the Global Forum on Nicotine 2016: " 'Not Blowing Smoke' - the fight against misleading messages"
Below is a video update by The Truth About Vaping on what is happening with regards to SB140 and the total perversion of our democratic system that is currently taking place. Take a look and see what you can do to help the cause! Click here to read the complete article on Vaper Vision's website.
Below is the second of several episodes in a series brought to us by NotBlowingSmoke.org, which expose the TRUTH behind the CDPH's new deadly campaign.
Below is the first of several episodes in a series brought to us by NotBlowingSmoke.org, which expose the TRUTH behind the CDPH's new deadly campaign.
On April 15th, 2015, SFATA California (NorCal SFATA and SoCal SFATA) and its lobby team were present and in opposition unless amended at the Senate Health Committee hearing for SB24 by Senator Jerry Hill. The bill was voted out of committee and onto the Senate Appropriations Committee (just like SB140). During the introduction of the bill yesterday, Senator Hill announced that it would be adopting the measures from SB151 (increasing the legal age from 18 to 21) has been rolled into SB24.
We will be seeking appropriate amendments and are appreciative that the most recent amendments seek to delineate vapor products from tobacco products and will allow for vaping in vape stores and lounges. This sets SB24 apart from SB140 which is seeking much more stringent prohibitions
We will continue to urge Senator Hill and his staff to take amendments on the matters that we brought forth in our opposition.
Due to amendments to the bill it gathered opposition from many of its former supporters which includes, amongst others, the American Lung Association and American Cancer Society. Below are the videos of the testimony by SFATA as well as the SB24 hearing in its entirety. Also provided below is the testimony as it as rendered.
Of particular note in the video, is the Senate Health Committee Chair’s comments that two of the priorities he sees in the debate are preventing sales to minors and the issue of licensing.
"Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and committee. I’m Stefan Didak, and it appears I might need to find a second apartment here in Sacramento given the amount of time I’m spending here lately.
I am here, once again, as co-president of the Northern California chapter of SFATA, the Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association and representing the Northern and Southern chapters and its more than 110 members. I still operate in the capacity of one of its unpaid volunteers and have never taken any payment from either the industry I represent or any tobacco companies.
We are appreciative of efforts to distinguish e-cigarettes and vapor products from tobacco in parts of the bill, which is appropriate considering the well documented harm of tobacco smoke. But we are concerned that, in its current
form, the bill will result in unintended consequences for the small businesses that make up the vapor products industry and their customers. So I am here today with a position of oppose unless amended on SB 24.
Some of the language is unclear or ambiguous. For example, while the bill provides a clear distinction between vapor products and tobacco products in some sections, it maintains provisions that designate vapor-specific businesses as a “Tobacco Store”.
There are also some technical aspects such as references to child-PROOF packaging. The bill should, instead, refer to child-RESISTANT packaging as defined by existing Federal standards. In particular the Poison Prevention Packaging Act. We support and accept those proven and tested standards as it provides a uniform Federal standard. We believe that clarification to child-RESISTANT would strengthen the bill.
There is a likelihood of unintended consequences as this bill attempts to extend the Health and Safety Code’s definition of an “electronic cigarette” into a very broad definition and will cover other smokeless products, including inhalers, with or without nicotine, that do may not produce any vapor. Future products may fit the broad definition but likely would not fit its spirit.
SFATA believes appropriate and proportional regulation is pivotal to the success of the industry. However, we are very concerned about the licensing requirements as currently reflected in the measure in that we strongly oppose a licensing requirements that resembles or reflects requirements for tobacco.
We are willing to engage in discussions regarding a licensing scheme that is appropriate for vapor businesses and would like to reemphasize the overall need to be clearly distinguished from tobacco in all sections of law.
None of the small businesses that make up the vapor products industry have any ties to tobacco companies. And vapor products contain no tobacco. It would be like referring to a caffeinated soda as a coffee product.
Considering that vapor products provide an alternative to smoking and are widely recognized as being safer than combustible tobacco we would like to register our concerns about the broad statewide public use bans set forth in this bill. Those are intended for combustible tobacco and should not be wholly applied to the use of vapor products.
While we’re opposed to SB 24 unless it is amended to address our concerns, I’d like to make it very clear that we’re solidly in favor of prohibiting sales to minors as evidenced by our industry’s participation in the Age to Vape age verification program and we’re willing to work with the Legislature on that concern.
I believe we have an opportunity here to engage in conversation regarding our points of opposition and work towards a bill that we could either be neutral on, or better yet, support as a step in the right direction in having state wide delineation between vapor and tobacco products.
As currently, drafted, however, we respectfully request that you vote NO on this bill.
SFATA NorCal and SoCal would wish to thank everyone who attended the Senate Health Committee hearing on Senator Leno’s SB 140 bill last Wednesday in Sacramento, CA. We were touched by the huge turnout in California and can’t express this any clearer than to say, we very much appreciate you being there with us, in force! We lost count and doing a sign-up sheet wasn’t cutting it but our best estimate was that there were well over 150 of us gathered there that day.
The view I had from the witness stand might have been slightly different from
the rest but, let me tell you, when the committee chairman asked who wished to voice their opposition and everyone, more than 80% of the audience, all at once, rose out of their chairs… that was a sight to behold and a strong visual that I’ll never forget.
The battle on SB 140 isn’t over yet, though. As it passed the committee with a majority vote (and not unanimously as some have stated incorrectly) the bill will now move on to the Senate Appropriations committee. In the meantime we will continue working on the bill with everything we’ve got. I got a lot of questions when it will come up on the agenda and the simple answer is, nobody knows. It could be a few weeks. It could be a few months. Keep in mind that California has legislative sessions that span a full two years.
For those of you who weren’t there, haven’t watched it live, and want to see the actual hearing. Here are two videos. One of the SFATA statement of opposition and Senator Leno trying to grandstand with some theatrics and one video with the hearing in its entirety. Also provided below is the opposition statement as it was rendered.
"Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and committee. I’m Stefan Didak, and for over 27 years I was a 2 pack a day smoker until I switched to a safer alternative. A vapor product. As a result I am not inhaling harmful tobacco smoke all day or
sharing second hand smoke with others around me.
I am also here today as co-president of the Northern California chapter of SFATA, the Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association and I am here today to represent both the Northern and Southern chapters, in the capacity of one of its unpaid volunteers. For the record, I have never taken any payment from either the industry I represent or any tobacco companies.
I am here to represent over 110 small businesses in the state. Small, often family owned businesses, who do not have, nor ever had, any ties to big tobacco companies.
We are greatly concerned with SB140 because it seeks a classification of vapor products as tobacco within the context of California’s STAKE ACT. This change in statue is troublesome and, is entirely inappropriate given the fact that, at the Federal level, the FDA has recognized and stated that regulation under the Family Smoking and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 is inappropriate and not proportional to the harm caused.
On the other hand, the STAKE ACT was enacted to address the blatant lies and death and disease caused by Big Tobacco; a wholly different product and industry than the one that has pioneered the vapor market and given rise to hundreds of independent businesses in California. Just imagine how many jobs those have created and continue to create.
Regulating tobacco products is a direct response to the known harms they cause, whereas vapor products do not contain tobacco and have been determined by experts to be at least 95% less harmful.
Mitch Zeller, the Director for the Center for Tobacco Products at the FDA has stated publicly that for smokers unable or unwilling to quit, vapor products are the preferred alternative.
Derek Yach, the international health care policy analyst who led the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control has agreed that “Smoking kills and nicotine does not” and has come out to say that electronic cigarettes are far less harmful than smoking.
Regulation, classification and treatment of vapor products should be approached from a position of endeavoring to protect the public health from death and disease caused by combusted tobacco rather than paving the way for taxation, regulation and operational burdens for vapor products such that adult smokers are no longer incentivized to switch to an alternative.
Yet SB 140 goes as far as to prevent sampling of products in vapor shops, which is similar to not allowing people to try on shoes before they buy them.
We support age restriction and already age verify customers as well as participate in the Age To Vape age verification program. Beyond being extremely unfavorable to businesses and consumers, SB 140 seeks to ensure adult consumers continue smoking combusted cigarettes through its well-intentioned but exceedingly misguided requirements.
SB 140 in its current form would lead to a plethora of unintended consequences that we strongly believe Senator Leno is unaware of. Therefore, we are hopeful that Senator Leno would consider amending the bill to ensure it does not become unenforceable and overreaching regulation.
As currently, drafted, however, we respectfully request that you vote NO on this bill. Thank you."
Please read the below call to action brought to you by The Northern California & Southern California Chapters of the Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Asociation (SFATA)
Immediate Call To Action : SB140 and SB24, April 8th in the Senate Health Committee
The Northern California (NorCal) Chapter of the Smoke Free
Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) in collaboration with the Southern California Chapter of SFATA, currently operating under our joint California Action Plan would like to bring to your attention one of the many legislative threats our industry is imminently facing this year; Senator Mark Leno’s SB140. Note that we will also be facing SB24 on the same day in the same committee!
Senate Bill 140 (SB140) would make California the fourth state to pass regulation that treats vaping the same way as smoking. This will severely hinder current smokers from having easy accessibility to a vapor based alternative and likely putting most industry stakeholders out of business.
The bill IS scheduled for its first hearing in the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday April 8th at the State Capitol in Sacramento (John L. Burton Hearing Room 4203) at 1:30pm. We strongly encourage our members and industry stakeholders (including non-SFATA members) to attend this hearing and oppose this bill.
For more information and coordination please contact Stefan Didak, co-president of the NorCal SFATA Chapter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Traditionally we meet at the front steps of the Capitol Building 45 minutes to an hour before the actual meeting, around 12:30pm-12:45pm, to discuss last minute changes and finalize strategy and provide any recent information. If you are planning on attending the April 8th hearing, please send a quick e-mail with your contact details, including a phone number. Legislative hearings can change very quickly and those changes may need to be communicated quickly.
SB140 Points of opposition (limited subset):
About Mark Leno, SB140, and its sponsors:
Mark Leno’s financial contributors are who’s who of Big Pharma, including Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Gilead, Astrazeneca, Baxter Healthcare, Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Hoffman-Laroche, PHRMA, EMD Serono, and California Biotechnology.
The bill is being sponsored by the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, and American Lung Association.
The full SB140 current bill text and language:
(alternative mirror download)
The current SB140 Call To Action Flyer:
(alternative mirror download)
The SB140 Tobacco Product Definition:
A product containing, made, or derived from tobacco or nicotine that is intended for human consumption, whether smoked, heated, chewed, absorbed, dissolved, inhaled, snorted, sniffed, or ingested by any other means, including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, little cigars, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, or snuff.
An electronic device that delivers nicotine or other substances to the person inhaling from the device, including, but not limited to, an electronic cigarette, cigar, pipe, or hookah.
Any component, part, or accessory of a tobacco product, whether or not sold separately.
“Tobacco product” does not include a product that has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for sale as a tobacco cessation product or for other therapeutic purposes where the product is marketed and sold solely for such an approved purpose.
Your elected officials to contact to express your concerns and opposition to SB140:We encourage industry stakeholders to contact your elected officials on the Senate Health Committee immediately. Please refrain from making any direct medical, health or cessation claims.
Senator Ed Hernandez (email@example.com)
State Capitol, Room 2080, Sacramento, CA 95814-4900
Senator Janet Nguyen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
State Capitol, Room 3048, Sacramento, CA 95814-4900
Senator Isadore Hall (email@example.com)
State Capitol, Room 4085, Sacramento, CA 95814-4900
Senator Holly Mitchell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
State Capitol, Room 5080, Sacramento, CA 95814-4900
Senator Bill Monning (email@example.com)
State Capitol, Room 313, Sacramento, CA 95814-4900
Senator Jim Nielsen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
State Capitol, Room 2068, Sacramento, CA 95814-4900
Senator Richard Pan (email@example.com)
State Capitol, Room 4070, Sacramento, CA 95814-4900
Senator Richard Roth (firstname.lastname@example.org)
State Capitol, Room 4034, Sacramento, CA 95814-4900
Senator Lois Wolk (email@example.com)
State Capitol, Room 5114, Sacramento, CA 95814-4900
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