After the ill-timed government shutdown last month, the SFATA organized Washington Fly-In was rescheduled to early this month. This coming Monday and Tuesday (the 4th and 5th of November), e-cig trade organization SFATA, electronic cigarette industry leaders, and yours truly will be in D.C. meeting with representatives to advocate for fair and business friendly regulation of the electronic cigarette industry.
Fly-Ins are something trade and industry groups often organize to advocate for a business-friendly response to current issues. In this case, visitors will be speaking with decision-makers on the Hill about how electronic cigarette regulations can be both effective at protecting consumers but also reasonable enough to allow small companies to remain in business.
Current FDA regulatory sensibilities would classify electronic cigarettes as tobacco products. In addition to applying a laundry list of flavor, advertising, and sales bans, high taxes, and retail barriers, this would effectively hand control of the industry to only the largest of companies. All the work small companies did making the electronic cigarette market a robust and lively one, would be repaid with forced closures and impossible to follow business practice standards.
And so enters the Fly-In. Not only will it help shape the future of dialogue between the electronic cigarette industry and regulators, but the meetings and discussions had may well foreshadow what the next year or two has in store for the community.
I’ll be on the ground there reporting as much as possible.