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The Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) is making its national debut at the 2012 NACS Show this weekend. The NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) Show, largely regarded as the industry’s premier event, hosts more than 20,000 attendees from 60 different countries. The newly formed SFATA in the smoke-free alternatives industry represents distributors, manufacturers, retailers, and end users with the goal to address a variety of consumer matters including tobacco regulation and its possible extension to vaporizing devices, according to SFATA.
For its part, SFATA argues that e-cigarettes are vaporizing devices that do not possess the same chemical and physical characteristics as tobacco products and therefore should not be deemed as tobacco products and regulated as such, it added.
Association goals aim to streamline processes, impact free and fair trade through self-regulation, and alleviate misinformation by providing cohesive industry support for consumer affairs. SFATA’s self-regulatory goals are set to:
- Provide the tools necessary for regulators, industry specialists and consumers to make informed decisions
- Increase interest, education and advocacy for proposed and new legislation, and future Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulation
- Improve testing, promote uniform manufacturing procedures and established guidelines for the future of the industry.
As e-cigarettes become more and more popular among consumers looking for a healthy alternative, so to does their presence in convenience stores. It is important that electronic cigarettes are held to their own standards, and not those of traditional tobacco products. There is a very real possibility that e-cig consumption will outpace that of traditional cigarettes over the next decade. With a consumer base that significant, it is important that convenience stores nationwide take note of the changing landscape.