Vapers United is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of vapers, their family and friends, and all Americans who believe vaping should not be treated like smoking.
We analyze efforts at the state, local and federal level to tax and over-regulate vaping and vapor product producers, and advocate against them.
We also set aside a portion of donations to help fund lawsuits targeting anti-vaping laws.
Please note that donations are not tax-deductible, but our objective is to keep costs down for vapers, the vaping community and the vaping industry, long-term, by combating excessive taxation and regulation.
Vapers United has a number of concerns regarding Dr. Ned Sharpless, whom President Trump has nominated to head up the FDA. Foremost among them is that Dr. Sharpless may be more favorable to excessive vapor regulation than his predecessor— something we are actively seeking to assess so that vapers, their family, friends, and vapor retailers including convenience stores may have greater certainty and confidence regarding the regulatory environment they could soon be facing.
The FDA recently announced guidelines restricting the conditions under which non-tobacco, mint and menthol flavored vapor products can be sold, and moving up the deadline for submitting applications for marketing clearance for vapor products.
While Vapers United agrees with and applauds other FDA measures designed to combat underage vaping, such as more stringent enforcement of ID-verification requirements to purchase vapor products, Vapers United is concerned about what we feel is insufficient clarity regarding the proposed ‘sequestering' of flavored vapor products.
Without more explicit language, we are concerned that vapor retailers will not know how to comply with FDA's guidelines, which could lead to an overcorrection that sees vapor products that adult smokers are trying to access to help them quit become harder to obtain.
That could easily have the indirect, undesired effect of keeping more people smoking than needs be, with attendant consequences for their health, and indeed financial costs to taxpayers. This is a concern because contrary to popular belief, not all smokers looking to quit use a vapor flavor that corresponds to the tobacco flavor (‘mint’ or ‘Virginia tobacco’) they consume via cigarettes; some people really do find it easier to quit smoking with fruit-flavored vapor products, as odd as that may seem.
In addition, moving up the deadline for submitting applications for marketing clearance may result in a de facto regulatory thumb on the scales for some vapor product manufacturers, and could lead to a diminished variety of products on the market. That may have attendant adverse effects for smokers looking for the widest variety of products possible in order to find the right one to help them stop smoking.
Again, the nomination of Dr. Ned Sharpless will have an impact on the regulatory landscape, too, so we are actively monitoring the status of his nomination and his statements and record.
President Trump’s 2019 budget includes a vapor tax proposal erroneously claimed by the administration to be a “user fee” provision.
While like all presidential budgets, this one is dead on arrival, Vapers United has taken the opportunity presented by the submission of the budget to advocate against tax regimes that seek to treat vapor and conventional cigarettes equivalently, given what we believe to be different health impacts and the importance both of harm reduction and smoking cessation.
While we are not scientists, our personal experience leads us to believe that vapor can be a useful tool both in minimizing the adverse health effects presented by nicotine consumption via cigarettes and in enabling smokers to quit.
As 2019 gets underway, a number of states are again weighing vapor taxes and regulation. Vapers United is actively monitoring legislation and proposals in Mississippi, New York, New Mexico, Indiana and Colorado.
You can read more about the Mississippi proposal from Marc Hyden, Director of State Government Affairs at our favorite think-tank, the R Street Institute, here.
In New York, various vapor tax proposals including both “per milliliter” and wholesale are on the table, albeit not in Gov. Cuomo’s budget. There are also concerns the state could move to ban certain vapor flavors.
In New Mexico, anti-vapor tax advocates lost an ally with former Gov. Martinez’s departure. Previously, New Mexico has seen vapor tax legislation introduced, but it had no pathway to becoming law under Gov. Martinez.
In Colorado, there are concerns about a potential anti-vapor ballot initiative.
In Indiana, a proposal has been circulated calling for a “per milliliter” tax.
Vapers United was the main group involved in the defeat of a proposed 80 percent wholesale vapor tax in Rhode Island last year. We engaged extensively with media in Rhode Island and nationally to secure negative coverage of the proposed tax, and also to ensure legislators and the governor’s office were asked blunt and direct questions about the effect it would have. Ultimately, it did not become law, thanks in part to these efforts by Vapers United. You can read some of our national-level coverage of this tax proposal and its potential adverse effects here.
Vapers United was the leading voice in criticizing a vapor ban proposed by the FDA in 2018. We leveraged our extensive media footprint to make the case against the planned ban, and also submitted comments on it which you can read here.
We were the leading anti-vapor-ban advocacy group quoted in both USA Today and the Washington Examiner’s write-up of the move.
USA Today’s piece was syndicated in newspapers and across news channels across the country.