CALIFORNIA’S PROPOSITION 56 TO IMPOSE HUGE TAX ON VAPOR PRODUCTS THAT WILL HURT SMALL BUSINESS AND KILL JOBS

November 8 Ballot Measure Lines the Pockets of Special Interest Groups,

Does Little to Help People Stop Smoking     

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif., September 13, 2016 – Proposition 56 is flawed, imposing a heavy tax on California’s small businesses and will kill tens of thousands of local jobs, according to Protect Small Business and Smoke-Free Alternatives, No on 56, a recently formed ballot committee sponsored by the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) to oppose the November 8, 2016 state-wide measure.

“At a time when California’s smoking rate has dropped to the second lowest of any state, special interests groups are seeking yet again to line their pockets through a regressive sin tax, extending a disproportionate astronomical tax to vapor products that only makes it harder for smokers to consider these devices as alternatives to combustible cigarettes,” said Kari Hess, small business owner and co-president of the Northern California chapter of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association.

Under the proposed measure, vapor products will be subjected to a whopping $10 tax,* while the tax on a pack of combustible cigarettes may increase to $2.87. Californians should vote “NO” on Prop. 56 because:

  • 56 Will Hurt Small Business and Kill Jobs, making vapor products so expensive that California’s 3.8 million smokers will be less likely to consider them as alternatives to combustible cigarettes – forcing the many small businesses that comprise the vapor industry with the tens of thousands of people they employ – to fire staff, relocate or even close down.
  • 56 is Bad for Public Health, implying that the harmful health effects of tobacco are similar to those of vapor products and will only push people back to smoking cigarettes. Millions of former smokers in California and around the world already have switched to vaping, which science says is more than 95 percent less harmful than combustible tobacco.
  • 56 Lines the Pockets of Special Interest Groups, protecting inefficient programs that are losing money from declining tobacco tax revenues as smoking consumption rates continue to fall – including paying health insurance companies up to $1 billon for treating the very same patients they already treat today.
  • P 56 Will Cheat Schools Out of at Least $600 Million, amending the state constitution to divert education funding while not one penny of the new tax money will go to improve K-14 public schools.
  • 56 is a Regressive “Sin Tax” That Doesn’t Work, setting a disastrous precedent for more industry-specific taxes, also creating a funding shortfall for Medi-Cal that millions of needy Californians rely upon.
  • 56 Does Little to Help Stop Smoking, with only 11 percent of new tax money going toward programs to treat smokers or stop kids from starting.

“Prop. 56 is misleading to voters by falsely implying that the harmful health effects of tobacco are similar to vapor products,” continued Hess. “It is imperative that California voters understand the stark differences between vapor products and combustible cigarettes and vote NO on November 8.”

Editor’s note: More information on Protect Small Business and Smoke-Free Alternatives, No on 56, can be found by visiting: http://sfata.org/resources/flyers-and-graphics/.

*Based on an average wholesale cost of a 30 mL bottle of e-liquid.

About Protect Small Business and Smoke-Free Alternatives, No on 56

Protect Small Business and Smoke-Free Alternatives, No on 56, is sponsored by the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA), with funding by local California businesses, individual taxpayers and concerned citizens. Founded in 2012, the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) is the largest trade association in the vapor products industry with more than 1,400 members and 28 chapters located across the country, representing online retailers, brick and mortar vendors, distributors, manufacturers, professional service providers, importers and wholesalers.

70 PERCENT OF U.S. DOCTORS SAY E-CIGS CAN HELP PATIENTS REDUCE OR ELIMINATE SMOKING, SURVEY SAYS

Nearly Half of Physicians Surveyed Believe Vapor Products Can Reduce Risk

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 29, 2016 – A new study published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research found that the majority of U.S. physicians are “frequently discussing electronic cigarettes in a clinical context and a substantial proportion of U.S. physicians have recommended vapor products to their patients.”

The research paper, titled, “Beliefs, Practices, and Self-efficacy of U.S. Physicians Regarding Smoking Cessation and Electronic Cigarettes: A National Survey,” found that more than 70 percent of U.S. doctors indicated that e-cigs can help patients reduce or eliminate smoking, and nearly half (50 percent) believe e-cigs can reduce risk.

“The results of this survey of U.S. physicians provide further evidence for policy makers that vapor products can be a significant tool to help reduce smoking consumption, and that these devices should be embraced, rather than stifled with over-regulation and excessive taxation,” said Cap O’Rourke, president, SFATA’s board of directors. “It’s long past due that medical groups here in the U.S. embrace the leadership of their peers at Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians on the adoption of vapor products considering the 40 million American’s still smoking.”

The study also revealed that a substantial proportion of physicians recommend e-cigs to their patients who smoke despite some controversy around the devices. Additionally, approximately two-thirds (66 percent) of the physician respondents report their patients who smoke ask them about e-cigs at least some of the time, while 58 percent report they ask their patients who smoke about using e-cigs at least some of the time.

“This study shows that, across the United States, physicians are discussing electronic cigarettes with their patients who smoke,” said Andrew S. Nickels, M.D. in a press release, corresponding author of the study, assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “This information serves as a call to regulators and health policy authorities that electronic cigarettes are effectively being viewed and discussed as devices intended to treat nicotine addiction in clinics across the country.”

About SFATA

Founded in 2012, the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) is the largest trade association in the vapor products industry with more than 1,200 members and 28 chapters located across the country, representing online retailers, brick and mortar vendors, distributors, manufacturers, professional service providers, importers and wholesalers. For more information, visit SFATA.org or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter @SFATA. Download a copy of SFATA’s “Top 10 Vapor Facts: Demystifying Misconceptions about the Vapor Industry” by visiting http://bit.ly/toptenvaporfacts.

SFATA ISSUES STATEMENT ON AUGUST 8, 2016 FDA DEEMING RULE GOING INTO EFFECT

SFATA ISSUES STATEMENT ON AUGUST 8, 2016

FDA DEEMING RULE GOING INTO EFFECT

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 8, 2016 — The Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA), the largest trade association representing and protecting the interests of the vapor industry, today issued the following statement regarding the Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) final deeming rule on e-cig and vapor regulations going into effect on August 8, 2016:   

“Today the clock starts for our industry forcing thousands of small businesses to comply with the FDA’s enormously cost-prohibitive regulatory process to market their products to adult smokers and vapers.

“These regulations do nothing for public health and only will lead the nine million U.S. adult vapers back to smoking because nearly all of these significant alternatives will be wiped off the market.

“Science has confirmed that vapor products are 95 percent less harmful than combustible cigarettes, including the Royal College of Physicians, one of the world’s leading medical associations, which recently endorsed vaping as a harm reduction option.

“While we educate our membership on the FDA’s pathway process, we continue to lobby for Congressional action to change the February 15, 2007 predicate date and support legal measures that will help keep vapor products on the market as highly effective replacement tools for current vapers and the 40 million U.S. adult smokers that have not yet made the switch.”

About SFATA

Founded in 2012, the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) is the largest trade association in the vapor products industry with more than 1,200 members and 28 chapters located across the country, representing online retailers, brick and mortar vendors, distributors, manufacturers, professional service providers, importers and wholesalers. For more information, visit SFATA.org or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter @SFATA. Download a copy of SFATA’s “Top 10 Vapor Facts: Demystifying Misconceptions about the Vapor Industry” by visiting http://bit.ly/toptenvaporfacts.

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SFATA-CALIFORNIA DENOUNCES SIGNING OF BILL REDEFINING VAPOR PRODUCTS AS TOBACCO

Says Legislation is Counterproductive to Public Health and Creates

 A Host of Negative Consequences for California Small Businesses

 

 Sacramento, May 4, 2016 — The California chapters of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA), the largest trade group representing the vapor industry, today issued the following statement on Governor Brown’s signature of SBX2-5, a measure that defines vapor products as “tobacco” and make related changes to existing law:

“California took a step backwards today by reclassifying vapor products as tobacco. Stigmatizing vapor products, which contain no tobacco and treating them the same as combustible tobacco while actively seeking to economically penalize smokers attempting to switch is counterproductive to public health. We remain strongly opposed to SBX2-5 and will continue to work with the legislature, and voters, to educate them on what science says should be embraced as a far less harmful alternative to combustible cigarettes.

“Our industry, which was built by former smokers that morphed into small- and mid-sized businesses, has always supported sensible legislation, such as prohibitions on selling to minors, reasonable licensing requirements and child-resistant packaging.  However, this legislation will negatively impact California small business, of which there are approximately 1,400 vaping retail locations, plus hundreds of manufacturers, distributors and related businesses that contribute to the state’s economy, generating taxes and thousands of jobs.”

About SFATA

Founded in 2012, the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) is the largest trade association in the vapor products industry with more than 800 members and 19 chapters located across the country, representing online retailers, brick and mortar vendors, distributors, manufacturers, importers and wholesalers. For more information, visit SFATA.org or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter @SFATA. Download a copy of SFATA’s “Top 10 Vapor Facts: Demystifying Misconceptions about the Vapor Industry” by visiting http://bit.ly/toptenvaporfacts

 

Media Contacts:

George Medici | Matt Sheldon

PondelWilkinson

gmedici@pondel.com|msheldon@pondel.com

310.279.5980

U.S. HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE ADOPTS AMENDMENT TO MOVE FDA PREDICATE DATE FOR VAPOR PRODUCTS

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 19, 2016 — The Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA), the largest trade association representing and managing the interests of the vapor industry, today issued the following statement regarding the House Appropriations Committee adopting an amendment (31-19) to the Agricultural and Rural Development Appropriations bill to change the predicate date for vapor products to the effective date of the FDA’s final rule:

“Today is a good day for the vapor industry in the effort to help reduce the public harm caused by smoking, specifically because it helps protect the consumer-driven innovations made in the vapor industry over the past several years,” said Cynthia Cabrera, president and executive director of SFATA. “While the work is not yet done, we will continue to work with Congress to protect the rights of businesses and consumers in the manufacturing and use of vapor products, ensuring that these products stay on the market as effective replacement tools against smoking.”

“We want to thank all House members that voted in favor of the amendment, particularly U.S. Representatives Tom Cole (R-OK) and Sanford Bishop (D-GA) for introducing this bi-partisan legislation,” added Cabrera. “Today’s amendment is a first solid step in the effort to reduce the public harm caused by smoking as we await the FDA’s final deeming regulations.”

The FDA’s e-cigarette deeming regulations, which are entering the final approval stage and currently being reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), have the potential to create a de-facto ban on nearly all vapor products currently on the market if the February 15, 2007 “grandfather date” is left intact. The Tobacco Control Act requires a prohibitively costly pre-market authorization for each new tobacco product sold after February 15, 2007 that would include “newly deemed” products like vapor products as proposed by the FDA.

About SFATA

Founded in 2012, the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) is the largest trade association in the vapor products industry with more than 800 members and 19 chapters located across the country, representing online retailers, brick and mortar vendors, distributors, manufacturers, importers and wholesalers. For more information, visit SFATA.org or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter @SFATA. Download a copy of SFATA’s “Top 10 Vapor Facts: Demystifying Misconceptions about the Vapor Industry” by visiting http://bit.ly/toptenvaporfacts.

Media Contact:

George Medici | Matt Sheldon
PondelWilkinson
gmedici@pondel.com
msheldon@pondel.com
310.279.5980