Contact: Gregory Conley
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12/16/2015 at 8:30 am EST
Omnibus Bill Will Protect Cigarette Markets & Harm Public Health
Congress squanders opportunity to save tens of thousands of American jobs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the American Vaping Association, a leading advocate for the benefits of vapor products such as electronic cigarettes, is expressing deep disappointment in Congressional leaders for their failure to include a lifesaving and jobs-saving policy rider relating to vapor products in the just-released omnibus spending bill.
This policy rider would have shielded the U.S. vapor products industry from the most destructive element of regulations proposed last year by the Food & Drug Administration — that all vapor products that have come to market since February 15, 2007 (i.e, all of them) go through a multi-million dollar retroactive premarket approval process. The proposed rider would have forbid the FDA from requiring such applications for products on the market on the effective date of the FDA’s regulation, but would not have prevented the FDA from regulating those products.
“This deal protects cigarette markets,” said Gregory Conley, President of the American Vaping Association. “Congressional leaders have squandered a real opportunity to benefit both public health and small businesses across the country. The perverse outcome of this failure to act is that smoke-free vapor products will be treated far more harshly by the FDA than deadly tobacco cigarettes ever have been.”
Conley continued: “Without a change in the 2007 grandfather date, 99.9%-plus of vapor products on the market today will be banned. This is nothing more than modern-day prohibition. The FDA’s proposal is an unmitigated disaster and Congress’ failure to act will cost jobs and lives.”
Last night, CQ Roll Call (paywalled) reported that an attempt was made late last week to reach a bipartisan compromise on the grandfather date change. According to CQ, language was proposed that would have moved the grandfather date while also requiring child-resistant packaging and requiring the FDA to issue final product standards for vapor products within three years, among other limits. Ultimately, however, no language dealing with vapor product regulation ended up in the proposed deal.
“A billion lives will be lost to smoking in the twenty-first century. Rather than take a monumental step in reducing the death and disease caused by smoking, Congress instead decided it was easier to accept the status quo,” said Conley.
Conley cautioned that despite the setback, more can and will be done to stop the FDA’s deeming ban.
“Make no mistake about it — the fight to save vaping in the United States has only just begun. Vapers, small business owners, and sensible public health advocates need to make their voices heard even louder in 2016,” said Conley.
About the American Vaping Association:
The American Vaping Association is a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies that encourage the growth and sustainability of small- and medium-sized businesses in the rapidly growing vaping and electronic cigarette industry. The AVA was founded by Gregory Conley, a consumer and industry advocate with a long track record of advocating for vapor products dating back to 2010.
We are dedicated to educating the public and government officials about public health benefits offered by vapor products, which are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine or nicotine-free solution and create an inhalable vapor. The AVA is not a trade group and does not speak for any particular businesses, including our industry sponsors.