Fight To Survive Campaign: Small Vapor Businesses and the FDA

The regulatory agencies in the United States have been setting unrealistic expectations for the open space vape industry and it has become immensely concerning for small business owners. Naturally, a new type of petition has emerged inviting vapor based businesses to join the cause by signing up, in the form of a well-written letter addressed to Mr. Mitch Zeller, Director of the FDA Center For Tobacco Products — dubbed as the Fight To Survive campaign.

Basically, the letter is to help express their “concern for small businesses in the open vapor product industry in regard to the current PMTA guidance.” The PMTA guidance is, of course, referring to the Pre-Market Tobacco Application — a regulatory roadblock the FDA

Food and Drug Administration
Federal agency of the United States of America. It belongs to he U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and aims at promoting and protecting public health through the regulation and the supervision of various products among which tobacco products since 2009.

“>FDA designed only to recently become the center of a lawsuit filed by the Vapor Technology Association (VTA).

The concept behind this letter was initiated by open space vapor entrepreneurs Amanda Wheeler and her husband Jourdan. Amanda is the Director of the Arizona Smoke Free Alliance (ASFA) and the Rocky Mountain Smoke Free Alliance (RMSFA) in Colorado…

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Fight To Survive Campaign

The letter states, “Our goal is to meet with the FDA to discuss the adoption of a regulation process that will encourage the growth of responsible businesses within the vapor industry instead of the current trajectory of unreasonable demands set to squash numerous small businesses.”

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This is why the letter is addressed to the FDA and presented “on behalf of small business owners in the open vapor industry” — requesting transparent regulations rather than through an unclear and unrealistically expensive PMTA process.

The letter explains, “Efforts to engage consultants, laboratory services, and legal counsel all seem to produce professional regulatory experts that are just as unclear on how to advance through FDA’s current regulatory structure successfully. This leaves the industry even further confused, and effectively paralyzed, as we consider the risk of potentially spending ourselves out of business – because none of these entities can provide definitive answers to a process that remains completely subjective.”

The Letter’s Many Arguments

There are many genuinely honest and well-constructed arguments throughout this letter — creating some major takeaway points that people may not have yet considered about the entire situation.

One major takeaway point from these arguments is that, the open space portion of the vape industry, the small business owners, are willing to compromise because they are passionate about what they have built. At the same time, they also understand how the FDA regulatory structure attempts to mainly preserve big business — but there must also be a way to allow entrepreneurial enthusiasm to thrive.

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This letter makes many other well-formulated arguments, in which one of the primary arguments is that the small businesses who built the vape industry do indeed  demand to be taken seriously and respected — discussing how unfair it is to just push out the small businesses only to turn around and hand over the industry to Big Business.

In addition, the letter stresses how the vape community is increasingly concerned about the current existence and potential expansion of a Black Market that will only succeed if small businesses continue to be left in the dark about how to prepare for the PMTA process.

All things considered, perhaps the Center for Tobacco Products needs to develop and build a separate Department that can properly handle vape-based small businesses. Their current PMTA process is designed for Big Business and just maybe the FDA should all decide on hiring staff members who can accommodate small business as well — to help at least meet somewhere in the middle.

More Signatures Are Requested

Within days of releasing the letter, after inviting other small business owners, they were joined by over 800 signatures. Amanda said, “No one was skeptical, people were instantly supportive, which is rare, but every business owner who contacted them only asked how they could help.”

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Other vape-based business owners are invited to add their information as signatories. The signatures being recorded are added via a manually based process in order to ensure no duplicates are included on the list.

FightToSurvive.org has already gathered over 1800 signatures, certainly a show of dedicated support. However, since the Fight To Survive Campaign goal is to have 2,000 signatories, the cut-off for small business owners join as a signatory by the end of this week — Friday, September 6th, 2019.

Additionally, CASAA

Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association.
Formed in 2009 by members of an online forum as an advocacy group to raise awareness and protect the right to access reduced harm alternatives.

“>CASAA is assisting with crafting a separate letter for consumers to sign in order to show support for the #FightToSurvive movement.

 

…Read more at Vaping Post

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