WASHINGTON D.C. – September 12th, 2018 – Today, the Vapor Technology Association responded to the Food & Drug Administration’s announcements regarding the e-cigarette industry. Unfortunately, FDA and Commissioner Gottlieb took a giant step backwards against the best interest of public health. By threatening an industry – and technology that millions of adult smokers are successfully using to reduce or quit smoking deadly cigarettes–FDA is venturing into dangerous territory. It is upending its own process by threatening to move forward deadlines and banning “certain flavors” without engaging in its required comprehensive, science-based analysis.

We are surprised by FDA’s statement in particular because the most recent available data indicates we are not in the midst of an epidemic. “It is arguably irresponsible and clearly unscientific to suggest that there is an “epidemic” based upon “news coverage” and “increased concerns among kids, parents and educators” especially when the current available data suggests the contrary – that youth smoking and vaping rates are and have been declining,” said Tony Abboud, Executive Director of the Vapor Technology Association.

VTA has met with FDA leadership multiple times to encourage them to increase enforcement and root out industry bad actors. VTA welcomes any action – especially those we’ve suggested FDA implement – to step up marketing penalties and restriction of youth access. VTA has adopted industry leading Marketing Standards for Membership  and established a responsible marketing hotline for its members. Yet, today’s announcement threatens the entire industry, essentially throwing the baby out with the bathwater in response to sensationalized anecdotes and the loudest voices. An entire industry that is saving people’s lives should not be jeopardized to kowtow to hysterical public health groups.

“What is frightening is that today’s statement offers little but lip service to FDA’s so-called plans to support innovation and prioritize smoking cessation,” said Abboud. “VTA is concerned that this Administration may be the victim of overhyped media reports regarding the vapor industry and as a result may be reverting to Obama-era regulation that prevents any new innovation.”

“Decisions of this magnitude must be made on science, not emotion. That is FDA’s charge. Today’s actions have sent Big Tobacco stocks skyrocketing. Does FDA really want millions of Americans to return to smoking cigarettes?” added Abboud.

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The Vapor Technology Association is the leading U.S. non-profit industry trade association whose 600+ members are dedicated to innovating and selling high quality vapor products that provide adult consumers with a safer alternative to traditional combustible cigarettes. VTA represents the industry-leading manufacturers of vapor devices, e-liquids, flavorings, and components, as well as the largest wholesalers, distributors, importers, and e-commerce retailers, in addition to hundreds of hard-working American brick-and­ mortar retail store owners throughout the United States.