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VTA Insider March 2024: Action across the States & Health Advocates join the fight

VTA Insider keeps you informed of critical issues impacting the vaping industry both in Washington, DC and in the states. We will cover regulatory developments, legislation, news of note and other industry insights. VTA will also share with you our own analysis of what we as an industry need to do to grow and prosper.

Lets Dive In.

State of the States

America pulse line graphic

The Big Picture: the most pressing issue facing the vaping industry remains the dozens of PMTA registry bills that are winding their way through state legislatures in over 30 states. These bills are a blatant effort by Big Tobacco to remove safer vaping products from the market to prop up their sagging profits as Americans quit smoking in favor of safer products.

Why it Matters: The flurry of anti-vaping bills were filed on the heels of FDA’s November 2023 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS). 

The 2023 NYTS survey showed plainly that there is no youth vaping crisis. It highlights:

  • A 41% drop YOY in youth vaping;
  • Only ~7.7% of teens report current use (once in the last 30 days)
  • Only ~2.5% of teens are daily users 
  • Teen vaping has dropped 61% since 2019

Given these undisputed facts, it should be increasingly difficult for elected officials and policy makers to continue to spread the lie that there is a youth vaping crisis. Unfortunately for Big Tobacco, cigarette sales are crashing so we are now facing a fight in dozens of states where legislation written by and promoted by Big Tobacco would eliminate their competition and create a monopoly for their dangerous products.

How to Fight Back: VTA is fighting back in as many states as we can but we can’t be everywhere. In the states we have lobbyists on the ground, we are running public education campaigns to explain the dangers and we are working to mobilize vape businesses that would be shuttered under these new laws. 

  • Our efforts are paying off but we need your help.

First, bills in Virginia and Florida have reached the desks of Governor Youngkin and Governor DeSantis. VTA has set up an ACTION CENTER with all the information you need to make sure the governors hear your voice.

  • In Virginia, the clock is ticking. We have less than 30 days before the General Assembly reconvenes to consider the Governor’s vetos. If you are in Virginia, please visit the VTA Action Center and urge the Governor to veto HB 1069 and SB 550.
  • In Florida, the legislative session ended on March 8th. VTA joined with the Florida Smoke Free Association urging the Governor to veto this harmful legislation.  Governor DeSantis knows that H 1007 and S 1006 are bad for public health and bad for business. The Governor has less than three weeks remaining to make his veto decisions and it is critical that he hears from you!

Health Advocates Join the Fight

Doctor looking at tablet

Strange Bedfellows Unite: When public health groups join with the vaping industry to oppose legislation, it should be a clear signal to lawmakers that these bills are bad for everybody involved. That is exactly what is happening in many of the states where we are fighting. Groups like the American Cancer Society and Clean Air For Everyone (CAFE) have registered to lobby against these bills. 

“At the end of the day, this bill will do nothing to reduce youth consumption and nor adult (use), likely,” said Threase Harms, a lobbyist for CAFE Iowa Citizens Action Network. “ … We see it as an industry bill that does nothing other than help tobacco companies increase their market share and ultimately their profits.” 

Retailers Have Problems Too: Retailers are sounding the alarm in many states that these Big Tobacco protection bills will overregulate them to the point of putting them out of business. 

What’s At Stake: Removing flavored vapes from the market will only increase cigarette sales. This is what Big Tobacco wants but it will come at a cost. For the 34 million Americans still addicted to cigarettes, without access to smoke-free alternatives, the only option for many who have tried and failed to quit will be to continue smoking. 

By The Numbers

Data in America

The negative impact of these bills goes beyond our health and wellness. Thousands of jobs are at stake and millions of dollars of economic activity supported by small businesses across the country are at risk of being eliminated. 

For Example: To demonstrate how big of a problem this is, VTA commissioned an econometric analysis of the small business market for smoke free alternatives in Florida. 

The vapor product industry is an important part of Florida’s economy. About $1.4 billion in vapor sales lead to 7,440 jobs and almost $1.3 billion in economic activity. Of these 7,440 jobs:

  • 2,471 are held by Floridians working for the 774 independent retail vape shops;
  • 369 are held by Floridians working in 13 Florida manufacturing facilities;2
  • 691 are held by Floridians working in wholesale and other retail establishments (like convenience
    stores); and
  • Nearly 3,910 full-time-equivalent jobs in Florida depend on the manufacture, distribution, and sale
    of vapor products in the state.

What’s at Stake: According to independent economists, if Governor DeSantis signs the bills, the adverse impact on the Florida economy would be nearly $1.1 billion with $845.4 million in direct sales losses.

Go deeper: You can read the full analysis here. 

The Science is Clear

The Big Picture: For smokers that want to quit, the CDC only recommends prescription nicotine replacement and counseling, despite these approaches showing little effectiveness. 

Why it matters: For years there has been a steady stream of research providing that vaping is a safer and more effective alternative for smokers looking to quit. In early February, the New England Journal of Medicine, one of the world’s most well regarded peer-reviewed journals, put the lie to the government’s recommendations.

By the Numbers: The comprehensive study tracked 1,246 smokers who wished to quit. 

  • The control group received counseling and the government approved nicotine replacement therapy. 
  • The other group was also permitted to also try to quit using e-cigarettes. 
  • The participants who were given the option to vape were able to quit at rates that were 21% higher than the control group.

What they’re saying: In an editorial accompanying the study, Professor Nancy Rigotti, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School indicated that: 

“It is now time for the medical community to acknowledge this progress and add e-cigarettes to the smoking cessation toolkit… U.S. public health agencies and professional medical societies should reconsider their cautious positions on e-cigarettes for smoking cessation. The evidence has brought e-cigarettes to the tipping point. The burden of tobacco-related disease is too big for potential solutions such as e-cigarettes to be ignored.”

It is time for scientists, not bureaucrats at FDA and CDC to lead the public health discussion.

Worth Your Time

Clock on medicine pill
  • Investors cut guidance on Big Tobacco stocks as vaping cuts into profits. This is an October 2023 story, but it tells you everything you need to know about why tobacco companies are pushing these PMTA registry bills across the country.
  • Restrictive anti-vaping policies are fueling a dangerous black market in other countries.  
  • Consumer groups are sounding the alarm against state PMTA registry bills.
  • When doctors are the source of public health misinformation.

Got questions? If you have any questions about the issues we have covered, have suggestions for content, or how you can support our efforts, please feel free to contact us at

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