WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (“SFATA”), the largest trade organization in the world dedicated to the advocacy, education, and outreach on behalf of the vapor products industry, strongly disagrees with the findings of the California Department of Public Health’s Health Advisory on electronic cigarettes, released today.
“We are extremely disappointed that the California Department of Health has taken this step with regards to its position on vapor products. We remain concerned that the Department confuses these technology products with tobacco, and in its Advisory has ignored years of well established research that shows the safety of the products and the public health benefit they may offer the millions of Californians who use them as an alternative to tobacco,” said Phil Daman, President and Chairman of SFATA’s Board of Directors.
SFATA recognizes that the science behind the vaping industry is not yet settled. However, the California Department mischaracterizes the findings of studies and cites out-of-date information. For example, the advisory references several studies to support the fact that e-cigarette vapor contains chemicals on California’s Proposition 65 list. While those studies may have found trace amounts of certain chemicals, none of the studies stood for overall proposition that electronic cigarettes are the significant danger suggested in the Advisory.
- The “Goniwicz” study actually reported, “We found that the e-cigarette vapours contained some toxic substances. The levels of the toxicants were 9–450 times lower than in cigarette smoke and were, in many cases, comparable with trace amounts found in the reference product.”
- The Schripp study author was quoted in regard to the study: “the study does not claim to provide any kind of toxicological assessment.”
- The “Flouris” study actually concluded: “The assessment of lung function demonstrated that neither a brief session of active e-cigarette smoking nor a 1 hour passive e-cigarette smoking session significantly interfered with normal lung function. On the other hand, acute active and passive tobacco cigarette smoking undermined lung function, as repeatedly shown in previous studies.”
“We believe that the science will confirm vapor products are an innovative and disruptive force in the marketplace that provide the potential to transition millions of Americans away from combustible cigarette smoking,” said Cynthia Cabrera, SFATA’s Executive Director.
Smoking is at all-time low, largely because people understand that vaping provides adults with a better alternative to smoking. The Department of Health fails to acknowledge that smoking is at an all-time low. This is very positive and mostly likely due to the fact that the vapor products are becoming more widely available.
Vapor products are NOT a gateway product to tobacco smoking: youth are more likely to try a traditional cigarette brand such as Marlboro, Camel or Newport, before they will consider trying a nicotine liquid vaping product. An April 2014 study from Action on Smoking and Health shows that use of vaporizers, such as ecigs, among youth is extremely rare and that the product category is not renormalizing smoking.
A recent study published by the Society for the Study of Addiction of 6000 smokers showed that those attempting to quit cigarettes were more likely to be successful when using vapor products as opposed to nicotine patches, gum or other OTC therapies. According to study author Dr. Robert West, Director of Tobacco Studies at University College London, “more than 5000 lives could be saved for every million smokers who switched to e-cigarettes.”
SFATA has long supported a ban on vapor product access to minors, and has acknowledged the need for uniform product standards across our industry. SFATA launched the Age To Vape™ program earlier this year. The program requires retailers to display signs indicating they do not sell vapor products to minors and to check customer ID before making a sale.
 Goniewicz, M.L., et. al., Levels of selected carcinogens and toxicants in vapour from electronic cigarettes. Tob Control, 2014.
 Flouris, A.D., et al., Acute impact of active and passive electronic cigarette smoking on serum cotinine and lung function. Inhal Toxical, 2013.