WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the American Vaping Association, a leading advocate for the benefits of vapor products such as electronic cigarettes, reacted to the release of a new opinion article on vapor products written by employees of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. In the article, the authors lament that only 3 states have banned vaping where smoking is banned and that less than a dozen states have yet to ban sales of e-cigarettes to minors.
Meanwhile, the ‘Cromnibus’ Continuing Resolution bill that just passed through the House will fully fund a program established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for “community transformation” grants in the increased amount of $2 billion in 2015 to fight tobacco use and obesity. These grants have come under fire from the Department of Health & Human Services’ own inspector general, members of Congress, and open governments groups for the CDC’s failure to ensure that these grants are not used for illegal lobbying.
Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, issued the following statement:
“This new report, in combination with the $2 billion in grant funding that CDC will dole out in 2015 in connection with the Affordable Care Act, emphasizes the need for strict oversight of the CDC and its grantees. Two years ago, the inspector general of the Department of Health & Human Services strongly criticized the CDC’s administration of these grant programs. While it is illegal under the Anti-Lobbying Act to use federal grant dollars to lobby, the inspector general found that the CDC was overlooking or, in some cases, outright encouraging, lobbying by its grantees.
“Vapor products and other low-risk, smoke-free alternatives have already been targeted by CDC grantees in the past. Despite the CDC’s past pledges to eliminate this illegal lobbying, we are concerned that the CDC’s pronouncement that vaping should be targeted for inclusion in ‘smoking’ bans will just lead to more government-funded, anti-harm reduction lobbying at the state and local level.
“The CDC argues that by banning the use of vapor products, states will strengthen their existing smoke-free air laws. This is illogical. How does prohibiting the use of a smoke-free product strengthen a smoking ban? The CDC is supposed to be a scientific agency, not moral arbiters, and yet they are actively recommending policies that have no basis in sound science.
“It is perfectly reasonable for the CDC to encourage the 9 states that have not yet banned sales of vapor products to minors to do so. In several of these states, common sense bills to prohibit youth access have been held up by politicians and purported public health groups like the American Lung Association that refuse to back down from unpopular calls for taxes and bans. In 2015, legislators should get serious about this issue and pass stand alone bills to prohibit sales of vapor products to minors.”
You can learn more about AVA and vaping by visiting the AVA website.
About the American Vaping Association
The American Vaping Association is a nonprofit organization that advocates for fair and sensible regulation of vapor products, otherwise known as electronic cigarettes, with the goal of maximizing the number of adult smokers who use these products to quit smoking. The AVA was founded by Gregory Conley, a consumer and industry advocate with a long track record of advocating for vapor products dating back to 2010.
We are dedicated to educating the public and government officials about public health benefits offered by vapor products, which are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine or nicotine-free solution and create an inhalable vapor. The AVA is not a trade group and does not speak for any particular businesses, including our industry sponsors.