Vaping Industry Honchos Fly In to Washington
In addition to this week's E-Cigarette Summit in London, sponsored by the E-Cigarette Forum, another meeting of interest to vapers occurred recently, this one across the pond in Washington DC.
The Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) sponsored a "Fly-In" brought industry representatives to the American capital to meet with policymakers. The meeting appears to have been a great success. "Our very first Washington, D.C., fly-in was a strong success for all who attended", said SFATA Director Cynthia Cabrera. "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."
A session devoted to legislative review surveyed different types of state bills and discussed the potential impact of their variations, including both short-term and long term repercussions, and addressed action agendas appropriate to each. Another session addressed SE/MRTP (Substantial Equivalence/Modified Risk Tobacco Product) classifications, and how they differ in the US and the UK. A third took up the issue of "deeming regulations" and how to deal with them both before and after their issuance. A fourth looked at methods of dealing with legislators and their staffers.
The organization plans another Industry update meeting for January 27, 2014 - registration page can be found here.
As a trade organization, SFATA serves as a resource for manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and distributors of vaping equipment. The SFATA is an industry group, and fifty companies are now members, each company receiving one vote in Board elections and the like. Membership as an "affiliate" or "associate" is also available to individuals, associations, and institutions (although associate member may not elect board members or appoint directors). As such, the organization is distinct from activist groups like CASAA, which serve the needs of consumers, supporters, health policy advocates, and others in the general public, who are campaigning to have an impact on emergent policy, and from forum sites like this one and many others.
Two prominent e-cigarette companies are listed as the founding members, and there are 14 members in the importers, distributors, and wholesalers category, 17 retailers, 4 associates, 1 manufacturer, and 5 sponsors. It appears that no company that also produces combustible cigarettes is connected with the organization.