BREATHE EASIER ALLIANCE OF ALABAMA OPPOSES PROPOSED FDA REGULATIONS

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The Breathe Easier Alliance of Alabama, also known at the BEAA, strongly opposes industry-killing regulations that were proposed by the FDA last week. The federal agency handed down nearly 500 pages of proposed rules and changes to existing rules that, if enacted, would force hundreds of Alabama business owners to shut their doors.
The FDA proposal would redefine the word “tobacco” to include items that do not contain any tobacco, including vape and electronic cigarette products. The proposal would also require small business owners to spend up to $1 million per product to complete a proposed FDA application process. Because the vast majority of vape stores are independently owned small businesses, it is widely believed that such requirements would force the overwhelming majority of these entrepreneurs into bankruptcy and would put thousands of people who are currently employed in the industry out of work.
“We firmly believe that the FDA’s proposed regulations fly in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence and are a slap in the face to small business owners across this country,” BEAA President Scott Eichelberger explained “The use of vape products and electronic cigarettes have been the most important innovations as a safer alternative to the use of combustible tobacco products. These products are being used by millions of people in almost every civilized country in the world with success rates higher than any similar products available in the marketplace today”. Renowned medical organizations from the Royal College of Physicians to the Mayo Clinic recognize the positive impact that these products are having, but the United States government is issuing regulations that would make it almost impossible for the companies that manufacture and sell these products to continue to operate.”
The BEAA Board of Directors voted unanimously on 5/10/2016 to pursue an aggressive legislative strategy to combat the FDA’s proposed regulations and to retain Montgomery, Alabama attorney Joe Hubbard in order to pursue any and all possible legal options available to the association and its members. Specific details regarding legal action is expected in the coming weeks.
The Breathe Easier Alliance of Alabama is comprised of more than 50 Alabama based vape retailers and manufacturers with a total membership well over 100. The BEAA was founded in 2015.

FDA Regulations Update

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Dear BEAA Members,
I wanted to write a short note to bring the membership up to date on where we are with the process of dealing with the FDA regulations. As all of you are aware the FDA took an unprecedented step in changing the definition of tobacco to include vapor and e-cigarettes, in an effort to increase the regulatory burdens on our industry. Many of you have asked what steps, as an association, we are taking to combat this overreach by the Federal Government. As you may already know other vapor businesses and associations have been preparing for these regulations for months and are already filing law suits. 3 weeks ago, your Board, met with an attorney about our options, and we decided by a unanimous vote to join our colleagues around the country and sue the FDA.
The BEAA has retained Montgomery Attorney, Joe Hubbard, to sue the FDA and enjoin these regulations before they are implemented. Our plan is to coordinate our litigation with the other vapor entities filing suit. Because Alabama’s courts are the best venue for such an action, the direction of these cases will depend heavily on what we are able to accomplish in court. We are in the process of preparing the paperwork to file suit in the Middle Alabama District. We currently have 2 BEAA members with businesses organized in the middle district that have agreed to be become a plaintiff. Mr. Hubbard requested a minimum of 2 plaintiffs but would like as many as possible. The middle district consists of the following counties; Autauga, Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Chambers, Chilton, Coffee, Coosa, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Elmore, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Montgomery, Pike, Randolph, Russell &Tallapoosa. We welcome any upstanding vapor related businesses located in this district to be added to the plaintiff list. Plaintiff must be a BEAA member in good standing to participate in this action.
We have negotiated a deal with Mr. Hubbard to proceed through 3 phases of the law suit with phase 1 being paid in full and future phases being funded as we proceed. Over the next few weeks, look for updates as we progress with the filing of this law suit.
Sincerely,
Scott Eichelberger
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