Yesterday, Juul Labs announced that it would not be renewing its membership with the Vapor Technology Association (VTA) citing the lawsuit that VTA recently filed against FDA and policy differences.
VTA is surprised by Juul’s stated opposition to the filing of VTA’s complaint against FDA because Juul recently opposed the efforts of the American Academy of Pediatrics to grossly accelerate the PMTA deadline in another lawsuit and sought similar relief in that federal lawsuit. In addition, Juul’s designated VTA Board member participated in the VTA Board meeting held to consider the lawsuit against FDA, but never objected. In fact, the vote to move forward with the lawsuit was unanimous. Prior to the meeting, Juul had the relevant documents relating to VTA’s consideration of a potential lawsuit against FDA, but never objected or expressed opposition to the action.
From its inception, VTA policies have consistently focused on creating and preserving a diverse marketplace of products for adult consumers desiring an alternative to smoking cigarettes. A diverse marketplace includes both open system devices and closed system or “pod” devices. A diverse marketplace includes vape shop small business and convenience store options for adult smokers to access products. A diverse marketplace includes the many flavor options adult smokers have been purchasing in lieu of the same old tobacco and menthol flavors that are sold by Big Tobacco. A diverse marketplace includes e-liquids containing a variety of nicotine levels, including zero nicotine, to provide adult smokers with the option to reduce their nicotine intake.
We appreciate Juul’s past attempts to collaborate with VTA. We recognize that some decisions made by VTA on behalf of the industry may not perfectly align with the interests of every one of our members. However, we believe our strength as a trade association is our diverse membership.
VTA is organized so that no single member, no matter how large, can dictate policy. We put our decisions through a regimented process to make sure they are based on sound and strategic rationale. We avoid taking reactionary positions based on transitional moments or the news of the day and remain focused on securing the long-term future of a diverse and well-regulated vapor industry.
As a reminder of what is at stake, the FDA recently warned that a precipitously accelerated PMTA deadline would lead to the “mass market exit of ENDS products” and cause adults who have quit to return to smoking - a "public health outcome which should be avoided if at all possible.” VTA’s and Vapor Stockroom’s lawsuit against the FDA was filed to avoid that “mass market exit” about which FDA warned and to preserve the diverse and vibrant industry of companies dedicated to providing adult smokers an alternative to deadly cigarettes. VTA stands by its decision to defend the interests of all vapor companies, and the thousands of small businesses in the U.S. that will be put out of business without the relief requested in our lawsuit.
VTA is proud of its rapidly growing membership. We are committed more than ever to advocating for rational regulations that will ensure the availability of a diverse array of product options for adult smokers. We simply ask that all other vapor companies which believe in our vision of a diverse and vibrant marketplace join us in our fight.
Thank you for all that each of you do everyday to defend the promise of vapor!