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VTA Statement: Response to Gov. Youngkin’s Amendments to SB550/HB1609

WASHINGTON – April 10, 2024 – The following statement is attributable to Tony Abboud, executive director of the Vapor Technology Association (VTA):

“While VTA is deeply disappointed that the Virginia State Legislature did not consider the science, overwhelming adverse impact on Virginia’s economy, and harm reduction benefits of e-cigarettes when passing SB550/HB1609 , we would like to express our gratitude to Governor Glenn Youngkin’s office for the time and attention they paid to the real danger to Virginia consumers and small businesses of banning all vapor products, an alternative that is currently helping Virginians quit smoking cigarettes.”

“The Governor’s amendment delaying the effective date is wise as it will ensure that Virginia does not precipitously shut down an important industry by rubber stamping a federal regulatory decision-making process which the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has declared unlawful, the final legality of which the U.S. Supreme Court will be reviewing this year and next. VTA intends to use this time to allow our store owners the opportunity to share with their elected officials just how detrimental this legislation will be to their livelihoods as well as their customers’ health.”

“We applaud Governor Youngkin for issuing these amendments and standing up to Big Tobacco’s continued attempts to boost lagging cigarette sales by immediately shutting down Virginia’s small businesses selling less harmful alternatives to cigarettes.” 

“In light of these developments in Virginia, VTA continues its call for state and federal officials to restore scientific primacy and integrity to the regulations which govern the safe and reliable sales of e-cigarettes to adult consumers.  And VTA applauds the state legislature for passing SB 582/HB 790 – a comprehensive set of reforms that implement the strongest, proven policies that will reduce the appeal of, access to, and use of vapor products by youth – which VTA has been advocating for many years.” 

“VTA looks forward to working with Gov. Youngkin, the General Assembly, and smoking reduction advocates in Virginia to demonstrate why drastic changes in approach are required in the 2025 legislative session.”

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