Smokers might be surprised by how much resistance there is to electronic cigarettes. They have been urged by their doctors and the American Heart and Lung Association to quit smoking, and nothing has given them as much success as vaping.
Vapers and e cig entrepreneurs, however, are defending their field and the habit of vaping from the FDA, the American government, and a suspicious public. It is no wonder that many organizations have sprung up in their defense.
The SFATA or Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association
As you can see, this particular group represents trades people along the entire supply chain; anyone involved at the business end of electronic cigarettes.
Theirs is one of the best-organized groups headed by an executive and features an attorney, entrepreneurs, and more. Michael Mullins owns Digital Ciggz in California. J. Andries Verleur is CEO of V2. Phil Daman (president) is a lawyer. One of the executive represents Ecigs Ecuador.
Their joint purpose is to advocate for the growth of an e cig and vaping industry generally, which includes the highly powerful vaporizers capable of more than 100W and supporting sub-ohm atomizers as well as vaporizers for herbs, etc. Membership in their trade association is like an all-access pass to information, events, and news.
Read newsletters and academic papers publishing the latest finding regarding e cigs. Attend national and local meetings or conferences. Take part in webinars. Theirs is the largest trade association for the e cig industry nationally.
AVA: American Vaping Association
This smaller non-profit group is sponsored by vaping and e liquid companies and by donations from members of the public.
Sponsors include NicQuid, AltSmoke, Smokeless Image, and others.
Their goal is to educate the public about the various benefits of choosing e cigs as smoking alternatives and to support small and mid-sized businesses in this arena.
Their president is George Conley who recently gave testimony to the FDA to advocate for vaping. Consumers can use the AVA website as a source for information and news and plenty of details are accessible without becoming a member.
Aside from state or local chapters of large organizations, there are a few other national groups standing behind vapers and the vaping industry.
One of these is particularly interested in e liquid blenders and manufacturers: the AEMSA or American E liquid Manufacturing Standards Association. Their interest is protecting e liquid industry professionals, educating vapers about e liquid standards, and also disseminating information to each other regarding the pros and cons of certain regulations to make their profession safer (how to setup a suitable clean room, appease the FDA, dangers of dyes, and so on).
CASAA is the Consumer Advocate for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association. As the name says, this organization speaks for consumers where the others seem mostly interested in the professional side.
Apart from these organizations, several forums exist for the candid exchange of ideas, questions, and concerns between vapers. Professionals often log in to take part in these discussions.
Advocates for Consumers
When trouble happens (ingredients cause a reaction, mixing standards have been unhygienic, or a company does not stand behind faulty products), there has to be a voice for those consumers. As yet, the Food and Drug Administration and Better Business Bureau appear to be the main sources of protection for consumers who experience any negatives from the vaping industry, and there have been many. No matter how much the industry vilifies these groups, their role is important to public safety.
E cig and e liquid companies have gone through teething pains: it happens in every industry. The goal now is to find a meeting point where everyone can agree that to protect the public and traders from tragedy or law suits, there have to be some regulations set down.
The choice to make, however, is where to focus regulations, how strict they should be, and whether or not to treat e cigs and e liquid as the FDA treats tobacco products.
Research continues to reveal good and bad sides to this business, mostly good however. Discovering an unbiased source to interpret the facts is a harder business, but only a decade has passed since these little pens were first launched in China. There is a long way to go before controversy settles down to a sensible level.