The UVA says it “educates the public and politicians regarding the benefits of harm reduction via vapour products, and strongly conveys that changes must be made, within the FDA, to provide an economically feasible pathway to market.”
“Currently, the FDA pathway to market is not obtainable for small and medium size manufacturers. The only entities that can afford the FDA pathway to market is Big Tobacco, while more than 11,000 family owned vapor businesses will shut their doors. Left unchallenged, 99% of the vapor products, will exit the market in September 2020.”
The organisation arranged for advocates from across the country to descend on Washington D.C. on Saturday to show support for small independent businesses and to demonstrate to President Trump that their votes have the power to change the upcoming election.
Advocates for tobacco harm reduction demanded President Trump pushes the Food & Drug Administration to reform the Pre-Market Tobacco Application (PMTA) process or extend the cut-off before Wednesday’s deadline on Sept. 9.
The UVA states 14,000 small businesses are “in jeopardy of vanishing overnight”, yet the FDA is still pushing ahead with its deadline that requires small businesses to file prohibitively expensive and burdensome PMTAs to keep their products for sale.
Advocates peacefully protested to show the world "We Vape, We Vote" is a movement that has the influence to disrupt the upcoming election with millions of potential votes up for grabs. The vaping advocates vowed “to continue to push elected officials to reject prohibitionist policies that threaten access to lifesaving vapour products.”
"If President Trump does not deliver on real reform at FDA, he is not only risking the destruction of an American industry, but he will be also be creating a situation where millions of adult ex-smokers could return to deadly combustible cigarettes," said Dimitris Agrafiotis, who serves as executive director of the Tennessee Smoke-Free Association. "HHS Secretary Alex Azar has pledged PMTA reform, but he failed to deliver. Now, it is up to President Trump to stop the FDA from destroying 99% of the industry and leaving 160,000 Americans unemployed in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic."
Over 20 vaping consumer advocates shared life-changing stories during the rally on their journey to vaping and how it has positively impacted their friends and family since switching to a tobacco-free lifestyle. They were also joined by featured speakers and leaders in the industry Dimitris Agrafiotis, executive director of the Tennessee Smoke-Free Association; Amanda Wheeler, president of Rocky Mountain Smoke-Free Alliance; and Gregory Conley, president of American Vaping Association.