In an inspiring show of unity, four major national vapor advocacy organizations have come together to support the newly introduced House bill HR 1136, the FDA Deeming Authority Clarification Act of 2017. The bill was recently introduced by Reps. Tom Cole of Oklahoma and Sanford Bishop of Georgia.
The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), the American Vaping Association (AVA), Vapor Technology Association (VTA), and the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) have issued a joint letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, urging support for the bill. The letter is signed by the leaders of all four groups.
The letter explains the plight of the vaping industry, vapers, and the millions of American smokers who will be left without alternatives if the FDA’s deeming regulations are allowed to stand. If Congress takes no action, all vapor products introduced to the market after February 15, 2007, will be forced to undergo an expensive application process just to remain available for sale.
We write today in strong support for the FDA Deeming Authority Clarification Act of 2017 (HR 1136). This bi-partisan legislation, introduced by Representatives Tom Cole and Sanford Bishop, would lift the industry-ending effect of the retroactive predicate date in FDA’s recent deeming regulations on electronic cigarettes, while instituting regulations that better fit the unique nature of our products. Without it, only major tobacco companies will have a chance to survive beyond 2018. Ensuring this groundbreaking technology continues to be available as a healthier alternative for adult Americans who smoke is key in the mission to ultimately eliminating cigarette smoking and smoking-related disease.
HR 1136 changes the predicate date from 2007 to August 8, 2016. That would allow existing products to remain on the market. It would not prevent the FDA from regulating existing products for safety — as is often incorrectly claimed by anti-nicotine activists.
If the FDA’s deeming regulations are allowed to stand, small and midsize vapor retailers and manufacturers all over the United States will shutter their doors, leaving consumers – who are battling every day to quit smoking – without access to these life-changing and possibly lifesaving alternatives to combustible cigarettes. Although it does not purport to solve every issue with the FDA’s deeming regulations, the FDA Deeming Authority Clarification Act of 2017 is a significant first step toward correcting the FDA’s misguided approach to regulation of the vapor industry
The bill currently has 10 co-sponsors (House members committed to supporting it). It’s crucial that it pick up additional support to ensure smooth passage through the House. Vapers will play a big part in getting this legislation passed. It’s crucial that we contact our members of Congress, and ask them to support and co-sponsor HR 1136.
The time is now!
CASAA has updated the August8th.org page to allow all interested parties to easily send an e-mail to their U.S. Representatives. There is a pre-written letter that can be sent with no effort at all. Even better, vapers and their family members can personalize the letter to include their own stories. Explain how vaping helped you, or someone you know.
In addition to sending an e-mail, a phone call and a written letter mailed to the rep’s office can have a big impact. When you call, tell the person who answers that HR 1136 is important to your continued health, and ask that your representative support and co-sponsor the bill. The operator won’t argue or discuss details. They will note your position and pass it along to staff members who speak daily with the Congressperson.
Further, business owners can explain to their House member that they represent hundreds (or thousands) of customers, and also contribute to the local economy and tax base, and employ their constituents.
This is the best chance we’ve ever had to change the predicate date in the deeming regs. We may never have a better opportunity. If all vapers can’t come together — as the sometimes squabbling trade groups have — to pressure Congress into action, we may well see the slow-motion destruction of the vape industry continue to its horrible end. This may be our last chance.
Vapers have a passion for this product. We know it will save millions of lives. We need to come together and translate our passion into action. We need to act, and ask our family and friends to help. Make a call, write a letter, send an e-mail. Tell Congress to help save this life-saving technology.