The Vaping Industry Must Convince Congress to Act

Only an act of Congress can save the vaping industry and keep vapor products on the market as alternatives to combustible tobacco.

  • As of August 8, 2016, the FDA started regulating the vaping industry under the 2009 Tobacco Control Act, which states, among other provisions, that any product that was not on the market prior to February 15, 2007 must be submitted for a lengthy approval process.
  • The clock is ticking. Manufacturers have less than two years to submit a Pre-Market Tobacco Product Application (PMTA) that can cost upwards of $1 million per SKU.
  • None of today’s modern vapor products were on the market before Feb 15, 2007 and the FDA has stated that only Congress can change the 2007 “predicate date.”
  • There are potential short-term solutions but long-term, wholesale and strategic changes are required.
  • It’s more than likely that nearly all vapor products would be forced off the market if Congress doesn’t act and change the predicate date.

State Government
Every day an elected official or government employee is making decisions about an issue that could impact your business in a deep and profound way. Your state and legislature enacts laws—or change existing ones every legislative session. The Cating Group focus is directed toward the key players in state government and employs grass tops and grassroots strategies as needed.

Lobbyist & Engagement Strategies
Many industries have given rise to local and state groups formed for the purposes of protecting their business and interests. However, it’s natural that many of these groups do not possess the background or knowledge to properly select a lobbyist or develop and implement legislative strategies. Our services include assistance selecting and vetting lobbying candidates all the way through working with the group and lobbyist on the strategy selected.

Grass Tops Advocacy
Grass ­Tops is a narrow focus on influencers and individuals folks who have connections to elected officials. For example, reaching and engaging office-holder’s donors, employing Op­Ed strategies, executing local events and reaching leaders within an office­holder’s political party. While The Cating Group does focus on grass­tops, we also connect and engage with national and state groups to introduce the grassroots element for additional impact.

(For additional clarification, grassroots advocacy educates and increases awareness around certain causes and issues at either the local, state, or federal levels. It depends almost exclusively on the public’s participation ­ not that of expert lobbyists ­ to execute the function of contacting legislators and other government officials to seek assistance of action for your issue. That is how these efforts grassroots advocacy can influence the public’s perception, public policy through legislation and regulations.

Harm Reduction Education
The vapor industry is under attack from many sectors but organizations, businesses, governments and policy drivers can benefit from harm reduction education. The ability to preserve or extend smoker’s lives, as well as the ability to lower healthcare costs related to smoking­related diseases offer the platform from which to present the case for harm reduction policies, standards and laws. The UK has taken an extremely proactive stance as a matter of policy in an effort to reduce the harm caused by smoking. As the first country to really embrace vapor products as harm reduction tools, the UK is providing an example for countries around the world.

Educating communities, companies and other entities potentially impacted by the pursuit (and non­pursuit) of vapor asa hard reduction alternative is vital to preserving the industry but moreover, improving health and saving lives.

Issues Management
Issues management is identifying and defining issues (community, cultural or otherwise that could potentially affect your business and the its’ ability to operate into the future.

The ability to identify and manage those issues (i.e., brand or marketing missteps, product malfunctions, regulatory challenges, etc.) helps prevent them from rising to crisis level. In this way, an organization’s reputation can be preserved and ideally prevent financial loss.

The Cating Group can help mitigate problems via a planned strategic process to identify and manage potential problems, that left unchecked, can turn into a full­blown issue typically played out in a public arena.