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 letters sent by three Congressional Democrats to twenty-eight state attorneys general urging them to declare ‘e-cigarettes’ to be ‘cigarettes’ for the purposes of enforcing the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA).
The letter, which was sent the Friday before Christmas, was co-signed by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and retiring Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA). The three representatives claim they are seeking this new classification so that the MSA’s marketing restrictions on cigarettes would apply to e-cigarettes.
Gregory Conley, President of the American Vaping Association, issued the following statement:
“These representatives are asking state attorneys general to violate both the Constitution and their own state laws. State attorneys general have no power to force e-cigarette companies to become parties to a voluntary agreement.
“This is just plain silly. E-cigarettes clearly do not fit the definition of a ‘cigarette’ under the MSA. E-cigarettes did not even exist at the time the MSA was signed.
“Even ignoring the legal flaws, capturing e-cigarettes under the MSA would be the wrong thing to do. Deceptive, fraudulent, and costly behaviors by cigarette companies were the impetus for the MSA. Vapor product companies are guilty of none of the cigarette industry’s past sins.
“For much of his decades-long tenure in Congress, Rep. Waxman has been known for fighting against cigarette companies. It’s sad that one of his last acts as a Congressman is to push rules that would actually protect cigarette company revenues.”
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.