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SFATA Encourages Maryland E-Cigarette Business Owners to Fight CB-91-2013

Following other counties and cities in the United States, a council member in Prince George’s County in Maryland has recently introduced a bill titled CB-91-2013 that would outlaw the use of electronic cigarettes in restaurants, bars and public and senior housing units.

Many outsiders are claiming because people are not allowed to smoke traditional cigarettes in public places (i.e. bars and restaurants), the same theory should apply for e-cigarettes. The Smoke Free Alterative Trade Association (SFATA) dispels this comparison by pointing out that e-cigarettes produce no smoke and do not possess tobacco or the nearly 3,000 known carcinogen chemicals that traditional tobacco cigarettes contain.

The electronic cigarette is an innovative technology that delivers nicotine from a cartridge in the form of water vapor. The e-liquid inside of an e-cigarette generally contains nicotine, Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG). Both PG and VG are FDA approved substances and can be found in several toothpaste and shampoo products at your local grocery store.

Prince George’s County Council Member Ingrid Turner is responsible for proposing this new Maryland bill, claiming that she is trying to make Maryland ‘more healthy.’ SFATA is encouraging County Council Member Turner to learn more about this innovative product and the overall industry before imposing severe regulation that could negatively affect her local constituents. If you are an e-cigarette business owner or advocate who lives in Prince George’s County, we encourage you to reach out to Ingrid Turner via email to express your concerns as to why this bill should be revoked. For more e-cigarette industry updates and news, follow SFATA on Twitter and “Like” the Official SFATA Facebook Fan Page.

More Medical Professionals Back E-Cigarettes As Reliable Adult Alternative

As electronic cigarettes continue to become more mainstream, the Food & Drug Association (FDA) is expected to announce proposed regulations on the industry as early as this month. In preparation for this legislative move, the Smoke Free Alternative Trade Association (SFATA) is urging elected officials and government agencies to consider respected medical professionals expertise on the e-cigarette field when creating recommendations.

E-cigarette advocates and business owners across the United States are concerned that the FDA will make the mistake of lumping e-cigarettes in with traditional cigarette regulation as part of its oversight. Such a move could impose severe restrictions on e-cigarette production, advertising, flavor selection and online sales. If this course of action becomes a reality, not only will access to e-cigarettes be severed, but economic growth will be negatively impacted.

SFATA is encouraging the FDA and elected officials to refer to research established by credible health professionals who offer scientific evidence proving that e-cigarettes are a reliable, adult alternative and that they are producing results that other smoking cessation methods are not.

Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at Boston University School of Public Health, is a prominent e-cigarette expert and a dependable source for information on why regulation under the tobacco act is inappropriate for these innovative products.  Through his Tobacco Analysis blog and 25 years of experience in the field of tobacco control, Dr. Siegel has learned the science and mechanics behind electronic cigarettes. In addition, he understands why e-cigs offer an alternative for adults looking to switch to a smoke-free lifestyle. Dr. Siegel spent two years working at the Office on Smoking and Health at the Center for Disease and Control (CDC), where he conducted research on secondhand smoke and cigarette advertising. With nearly 70 published papers related to tobacco, Dr. Siegel has the knowledge to assist the FDA in creating fair regulation that would not impede American’s rights or interrupt economic growth.

Dr. Richard Carmona, a former U.S. surgeon general who highlighted the dangers of secondhand smoke and supported a ban on all tobacco products, joined the board of directors of a prominent electronic cigarette company earlier this year. SFATA is hoping that this move will add legitimacy to e-cigarettes as a viable alternative to traditional cigarettes.

The latest medical professional to come out and support e-cigarettes as an adult alternative is Gilbert Ross, a medical doctor and the executive and medical director of The American Council on Science and Health in New York. In a recent Forbes article, Dr. Ross argued that e-cigarettes are actually helping individuals switch from a worldwide condemned habit that has killed millions of people across the world. Dr. Ross stated in Forbes that “e-cigarettes work by delivering a potent ‘hit’ of nicotine in water vapor, with flavorings and propellants of no significant health concerns — neither to the “vaper” (as they call themselves), nor to bystanders.’

If you are an e-cigarette business owner or advocate, make sure to share this blog post with your friends and family members in an effort to further educate & inform the public about electronic cigarettes. To receive further updates on the electronic cigarette industry, “Like” the Official SFATA Facebook Fan Page and follow SFATA on Twitter.

Is the E-Cig & Alcohol Regulatory Arena a Leveled Playing Field?

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for “protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, the food supply, cosmetics and products that emit radiation.” In doing so, they monitor and regulate various industries including cosmetics, alcohol, tobacco as well as most food products and dietary supplements. Alcoholic beverages in particular are monitored by several different federal agencies including the FDA. Other agencies that also monitor and regulate various aspects of the alcohol industry include the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Although the food, alcohol and narcotic industries are regulated by different federal agencies, they all have one end-goal: to keep Americans safe and to promote innovation.

A recent Wall Street Journal article examined the alcohol industry’s booming popularity in sweet and candy-flavored alcoholic beverages. Not only does the federal government permit various flavored alcoholic beverages for public consumption, but they also allow them to be readily available at a diverse set of public places including sports events, concerts and other entertainment events. In addition, alcoholic products are also being marketed with the help of millions and billions of dollars across mass mediums including cable television channels, social media, radio and print outlets.

For many e-cigarette consumers, business owners and advocates, the playing field for the consumption and promotion of alcoholic beverages appears uneven compared to the nicotine industry. Although tobacco, nicotine and alcohol products are all legal in the United States (in limited amounts), alcohol brands are allowed to market and revolutionize their products in many ways that e-cigarettes cannot. This point alone has many wondering why one industry is allowed more freedom to promote and sell while the other is not.

Elected officials in Washington D.C. are currently taking the next few months to review the e-cigarette industry in preparation for possible regulation. During this time, many electronic cigarette advocates are concerned that certain anti e-cig groups that have proposed and encouraged e-cigarette bans will cause negative implications on the entire industry. In particular, some groups are proposing that flavored e-cigarettes become banned, except for Menthol and Tobacco flavors. This model is not random at all and is the precedent of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which bans “characterizing flavors of tobacco cigarettes.” SFATA and other e-cigarette advocates are questioning why the government would ban e-cigarettes with “characterizing” flavors but not sweet flavored alcohol products?

Although some uninformed outsiders are claiming that flavored e-cigarettes are appealing to under age users, the same argument could very well go for flavored alcoholic beverages. SFATA believes the opposite is true for this argument when it comes to the e-cigarette industry. From state regulations that prohibit minors from buying e-cigarettes in retail stores, to age verification software for online e-cigarette purchases, as well as voluntary age restrictions imposed by many e-cig vendors, there is little room for minors to access electronic cigarettes.

Many traditional tobacco cigarette users have stated that in the absence of flavored e-cigarettes, they would continue using tobacco containing cigarettes rather than its combustion free, smoke-free alternative.  By imposing a ban on various flavored e-cigarettes, the government can also potentially impair domestic and international economic growth and take away a useful product that millions of people have found to be reliable and useful.

SFATA urges elected officials and the FDA to implement common sense e-cigarette regulation in the U.S. by allowing innovation and access to this technology. SFATA believes parallels exist between the e-cig industry and the alcohol industry and calls for a judicious and cautious legislative movement by the federal government. For more e-cigarette industry tips, advice and updates, follow SFATA on Twitter and “Like” the official SFATA Facebook Fan Page!

Contact Elected Officials to Show Your Support for the E-Cigarette Industry!

The first-ever Washington D.C. Fly-In Event on Capitol Hill is just a month away! SFATA members are gearing up for this event and are eager to meet face-to-face with the nations top lawmakers on November 4th and 5th. SFATA members primary goal for this event is to meet with various elected officials to discuss the electronic industries unique legislative needs. SFATA is attending this monumental event on behalf of all e-cigarette business owners in an effort to fight for fair regulation, with the hopes that the industry will receive sensible regulation from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) without stalling innovation and economical growth.

Now through November 5th, we urge all e-cigarette business owners and advocates to support SFATA members participating in the Fly-In by supporting each individual e-cigarette business in their home states.

To make this process easy, we have compiled a contact list of all the respected congressmen and women who represent some of SFATA’s top e-cigarette businesses.

If you live in one of the states being represented during the Fly-In, you can help Clear The Haze by calling, emailing and even posting on each representative’s social media profiles all week! Tell these congressmen and women directly how much you support the e-cigarette industry.

If you don’t live the in the state being represented, you can call, Facebook and tweet all elected officials regardless of your geographic location.

Please review the list below and reach out to each representative every day from now until November 5th!

 

Illinois’ 18th District Congressman: Aaron Schock (R)

Aaron Schock’s Official Website

Phone: 202.225.6201

Email: http://schock.house.gov/contact/

Office Address: 328 Cannon House Office Building

Aaron Schock’s Official Facebook Page

Aaron Schock’s Official Twitter Page 

 

Kansas’ 3rd District Congressman: Kevin Yoder (R)

Kevin Yoder’s Official Website

Phone: 202.225.2865

Email: https://yoderforms.house.gov/email-me

Office Address: 215 Cannon House Office Building

Kevin Yoder’s Official Facebook Page

Kevin Yoder’s Official Twitter Page

 

California 49th District Congressman: Darrell Issa (R)

Darrell Issa’s Official Website

Phone: 202.225.3906

Email: http://issa.house.gov/contact/contact-me

Office Address: 2347 Rayburn House Office Building

Darrell Issa’s Official Facebook Page

Darrell Issa’s Official Twitter Page

 

Florida’s 24th District Congresswoman: Frederica Wilson (D)

Frederica Wilson’s Official Website

Phone: 202.225.4506

Email: https://wilsonforms.house.gov/contact-form

Office Address: 208 Cannon House Office Building

Frederica Wilson’s Official Facebook Page

Frederica Wilson’s Official Twitter Page

 

California’s 5th District Congressman: Mike Thompson (D)

Mike Thompson’s Official Website

Phone: 202.2253311

Email: http://mikethompson.house.gov/contact/

Office Address: 231 Cannon House Office Building

Mike Thompson’s Official Facebook Page

Mike Thompson’s Official Twitter Page

 

California’s 38th District Congresswoman: Linda Sánchez (D)

Linda Sanchez’s Official Website

Phone: 202.225.6676

Email: https://forms.house.gov/lindasanchez/webforms/tour_request.htm

Office Address: 2423 Rayburn House Office Building

Linda Sanchez’s Official Facebook Fan Page

Linda Sanchez’s Official Twitter Page

 

New York’s 5th District Congressman: Gregory Meeks (D)

Gregory Meeks Official Website

Phone: 202.225.3461

Email: https://meeks.house.gov/contact-me/email-me

Office Address: 2234 Rayburn House Office Building

Gregory Meeks Official Facebook Page

Gregory Meeks Official Twitter Page

 

Connecticut’s 4th District Congressman: James Himes (D)

James Himes’ Official Website

Phone: 202.225.5541

Email: https://himes.house.gov/contact-me/email-me

Office Address: 119 Cannon House Office Building

James Himes’ Official Facebook Page

James Himes Official Twitter Page

 

Oklahoma’s 1st District Congressman: Jim Bridenstine (R)

Jim Bridenstine’s Official website

Phone: 202.225.2211

Email: https://bridenstine.house.gov/contact/email-me

Office Address: 216 Cannon House Office Building

Jim Bridenstine’s Official Facebook Page

Jim Bridenstine’s Official Twitter Page

 

San Fernando Valley, CA Congressman: Brad Sherman (D)

Brad Sherman’s Official Website

Phone: 202.225.5911

Email: http://bradsherman.house.gov/contact/contact-congressman-sherman.shtml

Office Address: 2242 Rayburn House Office Building

Brad Sherman’s Official Facebook Page

Brad Sherman’s Official Twitter Page

 

Hawaii’s 1st District Congresswoman: Colleen Hanabusa (D)

Colleen Hanabusa’s Official website

Phone: 202.225.2726

Email: https://hanabusa.house.gov/contact-me/email-me

Office Address: 238 Cannon House Office Building

Colleen Hanabusa’s Official Facebook Page

Colleen Hanabusa’s Official Twitter Page

 

California’s 13th District Congresswoman: Barbara Lee (D)

Barbara Lee’s Official Website

Phone: 202.225.2661

Email: https://lee.house.gov/contact-me

Office Address: 2267 Rayburn House Office Building

Barbara Lee’s Official Facebook Page

Barbara Lee’s Official Twitter Page

 

California’s 46th District Congresswoman: Loretta Sanchez (D)

Loretta Sanchez’s Official Website

Phone: 202.225.2965

Email: https://lorettasanchez.house.gov/contact-me/email-me

Office Address: 1114 Longworth House Office Building

Loretta Sanchez’s Official Facebook Page

Loretta Sanchez’s Official Twitter Page

 

Tennessee’s 6th District Congresswoman: Diane Black (R)

Diane Black’s Official Website

Phone: 202.225.4231

Email: https://black.house.gov/contact-me/email-me

Office Address: 1531 Longworth House Office Building

Diane Black’s Official Facebook Page

Diane Black’s Official Twitter Page 

 

Minnesota’s 5th District Congressman: Keith Ellison (D)

Keith Ellison’s Official Website

Phone: 202.225.4755 & 612.522.1212

Email: http://ellison.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=36&Itemid=7

Office Address: 2244 Rayburn House Office Building

Keith Ellison’s Official Facebook Page

Keith Ellison’s Official Twitter Page 

 

Kentucky’s 3rd District Congressman: John Yarmuth (D)

John Yarmuth’s Official Website

Phone: 202.225.5401

Email: http://yarmuth.house.gov/contact-john2/

Office Address: 403 Cannon House Office Building

John Yarmuth’s Official Facebook Page

John Yarmuth’s Official Twitter Page

 

Make sure to follow SFATA on Twitter and “Like” the Official SFATA Facebook Fan Page for daily updates and news regarding the electronic cigarette industry.

SFATA E-cig Advocate

SFATA’s First-Ever Fly-In Event Rescheduled For November

After the federal government officially shut down on Tuesday, October 1st at 12:01AM EST for the first time in 17 years, the Smoke Free Alternative Trade Association (SFATA) made the decision to reschedule its first-ever Fly-In Event to November 4th & 5th.

Since the House of Representatives and Senate have not been able to reach an agreement to fund the federal government and President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, Washington D.C.’s elected officials focus and attention has been reassigned to finding a solution to this urgent national matter. Until elected officials agree on a budget and bill that will reinstate more than 800,000 federal jobs in the United States and fund the governments new healthcare law, SFATA members believe it is in the e-cigarette businesses best interest to postpone this event for another month. SFATA does not want to host such a monumental event in the mist of a government meltdown, as it may affect the turn out of elected officials as well as the final outcome of the entire two-day event.

Although this may come as bad news to many eager e-cigarette advocates, SFATA is looking at this as another opportunity to spread the truth about electronic cigarettes and the industries need for sensible regulation. SFATA members and e-cigarette advocates have about a month until the events new rescheduled date—in the mean time, advocates can voice their concerns about potential stifling regulation and show support and enthusiasm for the e-cigarette industry.

Over the next few weeks, pay close attention to SFATA’s blog, Twitter page and official Facebook Fan Page for informative data and calls-to-actions regarding the Fly-In event and how e-cigarette business owners and advocates can help make this event a success.