The US FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration ) has announced a final ruling on docket number FDA-2014-N-0189 / RIN 0910-AG38 (The Deeming Rule) on Thursday, May 5th, 2016, deeming that Vaping Products, Electronic Cigarettes, Hookahs, Cigars, and others will be regulated by the FDA as tobacco products. It is extremely important for the Vaping Community as a whole to understand what happens next, and what actions can be taken to protect our rights.
On Tuesday, May 10th, the FDA published its tobacco deeming ruling in the public register. This means that the clock has officially began to count down regarding various compliance regulations, that manufacturers and retailers of Electronic Cigarettes and Vaping Products must implement.
The FDA has stated that this is a new milestone regarding consumer protection. Moving forward, the FDA states that this new ruling will now allow them to be able to review any new tobacco products before they hit the market, help prevent any misleading claims by manufacturers of tobacco products, evaluate the ingredients of any tobacco products and the process in which they are made, and relay the potential risks of any tobacco products.
What this new ruling actually means is that the FDA will now be able to legally censor how manufacturers and retailers of Vaping and Electronic Cigarette products market their products and prevent them from telling the truth to their consumers about their products. It allows them to treat products that contain no actual tobacco the same as those that do. This unprecedented level of overreach in federal regulations, now has the potential to censor the possible life saving information about Electronic Cigarettes.
This means that any manufacturer or retailer that presents any indication that tobacco free, noncombustible, electronic cigarettes are safer than the conventional, analog, tobacco burning cigarettes transforms them into “modified risk tobacco products,” which can only be marketed with approval from the FDA. To get the FDA’s approval, the applicant must present evidence that their product will “significantly reduce harm and the risk of tobacco related disease to individual tobacco users” and also “benefit the health of the population as a whole, taking into account both users of tobacco products and persons who do not currently use tobacco products.”
Vaping and Electronic Cigarette companies, manufacturers and retailers may no longer market or advertises their products in any way, that portrays them as a less hazardous alternative to the traditional tobacco cigarettes and if caught doing so may be subject to seizure by the FDA. This is a possibility that could happen for even those that are truthfully describing a Vaping Product or Electronic Cigarette as “smoke free” or “smokeless”. The FDA has stated that it will evaluate the use of smokeless and or smoke free, and other similar descriptive terms by a case per case basis.
The FDA has also decided to disallow any Electronic Cigarette or Vaping Product companies to market or advertise that their product does not contain tobacco, which is a perfectly accurate statement, although it now goes against the decision of the FDA to treat Vaping and Electronic Cigarette products as “tobacco products”.
This new ruling imposed by the FDA poses a grave threat to Vaping and Electronic Cigarette industry and community who sell or use products that have the potential to greatly reduce the risk of diseases and death from smoking related diseases. Among the most evident problems for the Vaping and Electronic Cigarette industry, is that manufacturers of vaping equipment and Eliquids will have to convince the FDA that approving their products and allowing them to remain on the market is necessary and appropriate for the protection of public health. This is a task that will more than likely be too expensive for the majority of Electronic Cigarette and Eliquid manufacturers and retailers, who for the most part are small businesses trying to grow a business that they believe has the potential to save lives. Even for the largest companies and manufacturers of vaping products this may not be financially possible.
For users of Electronic Cigarettes and Vaping products otherwise known as Vapers, this means that we may now see a substantial decrease in the availability of Vaping Equipment and E Liquids available on the market, that have provided so many of us with what we believe to be a better alternative to the deadly habit of smoking. It also means that we could see a substantial increase in the price of these products to consumers, as the FDA’s regulations have the potential to severely increase the cost of getting these products to the market place. Further concerns are arising from the potential that the FDA could start imposing the tremendously high taxes of traditional tobacco products onto Electronic Cigarette products once they have gained a stronger hold on the industry.
This is not by any means the end of the fight and the fate of the Vaping Industry and our community as a whole, has not yet been sealed. The Vaping industry has proven itself to be extremely resilient when it comes to federal overreach in regulation. Thanks to an incredibly passionate community and many dedicated Vaping Advocate Organizations such as CASAA for tirelessly and continuously concentrating all of their efforts in developing sensible regulations of vaping products that have actual real world benefits to consumers, and not serve to starve out small businesses in the benefit of big tobacco and the pharmaceutical industries. An important thing to note, is that vaper’s access to the wide variety of vaping products on the market in the United States will remain for a period of time before these FDA regulations take effect. So, vaping as we know it will continue, at least for the time being, and we are not done fighting for our rights by any means to choose a healthier alternative to the deadly hazards of tobacco cigarettes.
Vapory Shop and our affiliates will continue to follow the progression of the FDA’s regulations on the Vaping Industry and keep you up to date with any new information. The most effective thing that you can do as a vaper or supporter of the vaping community, to protect our rights, is to call, write, or send an email to your local and Federal Legislative Representatives, urging them to support and/or co-sponsor the bill, HR 2058 that would amend the FDA’s ruling so that “A product is not subject to premarket review by the FDA if it is introduced to market before that type of product is deemed a tobacco product.” Please urge your family members, friends, everyone who supports your right to vape and choose what you believe to be a life saving alternative to smoking, to participate.
Vapory Shop is a proud members of CASAA and will participate in any and all efforts to protect the communities right to vape and continue to be an advocate for our community. We ask you to become a member as well and to urge your local vape shops,friends and family, to do their part to protect our beloved vaping community. CASAA provides an easy to fill out form on their website that you can use to contact your lawmakers and ask them to support HR 2058.