VTA has always advocated for rational, science-based regulation of the vapor industry and has never advocated to simply eliminate regulations. VTA has consistently engaged with FDA on critical issues and sought ways to ameliorate the unintended consequences of the PMTA process. At the federal and state levels, VTA has consistently focused on the following key policy issues:
Harm Reduction. At the core of all our efforts is providing the facts which underscore the importance of adopting policies, laws and regulations that promote vaping products as alternatives to smoking combustible cigarettes. Into each of our efforts and messages is injected the importance of examining all vaping issues first from the perspective of how vapor products are a safer alternative to combustible cigarettes.
Preserving Flavors. VTA believes that adult smokers need to have many flavor options from which to choose as they embark/continue on their quitting journey. VTA believes that vapor products should not be marketed to youth and in 2017 VTA adopted its Marketing Standards for Members and aggressively promoted those standards. In addition, in 2019 VTA announced its 21 & Done! comprehensive plan in which VTA outlined the importance of raising the age to 21, imposing a wide variety of marketing and advertising restrictions, among other marketing standards as the best way to limit youth access and appeal to vapor products, rather than a flavor ban.
Taxes. VTA has fought against the imposition of draconian taxes on vapor products and has fought any tax that attempts to equalize vapor and cigarette taxes. To that end, VTA’s tax policy focuses on treating vapor products in a manner that recognizes the potential for harm reduction. VTA also recognizes that certain taxes may need to be implemented and has developed tax alternatives that would permit the implementation of a point of sale tax and, in some cases, a bi-furcated tax that recognizes the differential impact in the market of closed & open system products.
Regulation and Licensing. There are myriad bills attempting to ban or limit vapor products such as how they are sold, where they are sold, in what formulations they are sold, under what licenses they are sold, and in what nicotine concentrations they are sold. VTA is opposed to nicotine limits for a variety of public policy reasons. VTA also has proactively drafted and pursued state level regulatory legislation that is designed to impose licensing and marketing restrictions to ensure that companies comply with the law and that states can avoid imposing flavor bans. VTA’s model legislation passed this year in New Mexico with support from the Democratic legislature and Governor’s office.
Access. VTA believes that smart public policy ensures that adult consumers can access their products through both brick and mortar and online channels of commerce. Some try to play one segment off against the other, but VTA opposes these actions. Brick and mortar store selling vapor products are a critical piece of the harm reduction equation since it is these (typically adult only stores) that consumers can share information about their challenges with quitting smoking. At the same time, adult consumers should not be punished if they live too far away from, or are home bound and can’t travel to a, a brick and mortar store. Today, more than ever, senior citizens should not be forced to travel or raise their exposure level at retail just to be able to purchase their vapor products. For these reasons, VTA fights to protect the consumers right to access products both online and at retail.