Over 9 million people vape in the United States
Vaping advocates from across the country descended on Washington D.C. on Saturday to show support for small vapor businesses and to demonstrate to President Trump that their votes have the power to change the upcoming election.
Vaping advocates demanded President Trump push for the Food & Drug Administration to reform the Pre-Market Tobacco Application (PMTA) process or extend the cutoff before the looming deadline of Sept. 9. With 14,000 small businesses in jeopardy of vanishing overnight, the FDA is still tracking towards the Sept. 9 deadline requiring small businesses to file pricey and burdensome PMTAs to keep their products for sale.
Organized by United Vapers Alliance, advocates peacefully protested to show the world that “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 life-saving vapor 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.”
Despite fearmongering by special interest groups, vapor products manufacturers are not Big Tobacco and their technology products should not be subject to the same regulations. Studies have repeatedly shown that vapor products expose users to a tiny fraction of the harmful chemicals that cigarettes contain. Millions of adults throughout the United Sates have successfully quit smoking cigarettes because of vaping products.
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.
This is UVA’s second annual Save the Vape rally and they continue to ask vaping advocates from across the nation to call the White House Switchboard and say, “We Vape, We Vote“.