Advocating on behalf of midsized and large vapor manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and their customers, the Vapor Technology Association (VTA) recently concluded a viral social media campaign to push Congress to pass legislation to protect the burgeoning vapor industry. In the effort, more than 665 people and businesses supported a “Thunderclap” carrying the message “Vapor is under attack! Join the #WeAreVapor campaign and tell Congress to #SupportColeBishop!” to nearly 900,000 people across the country.
“The grassroots response to our message was tremendous,” says VTA National Legislative Director Tony Abboud. “Millions of people across the country use vapor devices as a safer alternative to tobacco, and in doing so support small businesses in every state. We want Congress to hear our message and act to support the Cole-Bishop Amendment, legislation that would amend the predicate date and demand that FDA implement battery standards to protect consumers, while continuing to regulate vapor products under the existing Deeming Regulation.”
Contrary to many ill-informed reports, the Cole-Bishop Amendment does not alter the FDA’s authority to regulate vapor products or any other newly deemed tobacco products, notes Abboud. Moreover, he adds, the Cole-Bishop Amendment does what FDA has failed to do by requiring FDA to implement battery standards within the next 12 months.
According to VTA, the Cole-Bishop Amendment will:
Save small and mid-sized vapor businesses: By amending the “predicate date” from February 15, 2007 to the effective date of the final deeming regulations, the Cole-Bishop Amendment will literally keep thousands of small and mid-sized businesses, and their tens of thousands of employees, in business.
Save lives: Vapor products have gained widespread consumer acceptance amongst smokers who have tried unsuccessfully over the years to quit. The Royal College of Physicians just completed a comprehensive review of relevant scientific research and concluded that e-cigarettes are no more than 5 percent as dangerous as tobacco cigarettes.
Address the issue of product safety: The Cole-Bishop Amendment requires FDA to implement a rulemaking on product standards for batteries within 12 months.
Protect youth: The Cole-Bishop Amendment will restrict youth marketing and youth access to vapor products by:
- Limiting newspaper, magazine or other print advertising of vapor products to adult publications;
- Requiring face-to-face sales, thereby banning self-service displays and vending machines, except at age-restricted venues;
- Requiring FDA to issue labeling regulations within 12 months to include “Keep Out of Reach of Children,” “Underage Sale Prohibited,” and accurate nicotine content.
Give the federal government the ability to enforce the law: The Cole-Bishop Amendment requires retailers to register their establishment, unless the retailer already is required to register under a state law or federal law. For more information, visit savevapor.org.
This story first appeared in the January/February 2017 issue of Tobacco Business magazine. Members of the tobacco industry are eligible for a complimentary subscription. Click here to subscribe.