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E-cig industry seeks support from 2016 presidential hopefuls

E-cig industry seeks support from 2016 presidential hopefuls
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The burgeoning e-cigarette industry is pushing the 2016 presidential candidates to endorse so-called vaping devices over traditional tobacco products.

The Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA), one of the vapor industry's largest groups, sent letters Wednesday to Democratic and Republican presidential candidates asking them to advocate for the use of vapor products and help clarify public misconceptions.

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“Americans may never realize the full economic and public health benefits from vapor products if they continue to be confused with smoking,” the letters said. “It is vital that voters have a clear understanding of the stark differences between vapor products and combustible cigarettes.”

The group argues that vapor products are safer because they don’t present the same risk of exposure to the toxic compounds found in cigarettes and can help smokers quit smoking.

“Aside from the potential to save lives and help reduce the harms caused by combustible tobacco, vapor products will lead to fewer smokers, which will contribute to cost savings among Medicaid patients, where the prevalence of tobacco smoking is twice the general public,” SFATA said.

The group went on to discuss its concerns over a mandate in the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed regulations for e-cigarettes and conventional cigars that would require any nicotine delivery devices that hit stores after Feb. 15, 2007 to apply retroactively for approval.

The final rules, known as tobacco deeming regulations, are before the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for review.

“These deeming regulations have the potential to actually ban 95 percent or more of all products on the market today,” the letter said.

“This would be a tragedy for public health -- let alone for the tens of thousands of business owners that make up this new and growing industry.”