FDA Deeming Regulations Could Snuff Out Vaping, Boost Big Tobacco
When it comes to the date of finalizing the tobacco deeming regulations, vapers have been nervously puffing away, waiting to see if their alternatives to cigarettes will go up in smoke. First, vapers expected to know something about their future by the end of February. That date has come and gone, and now it seems like Wednesday, April 20 may be the day of reckoning for the FDA tobacco deeming regulations. It’s all felt like a big waiting game for millions of brick and mortar vape shops and vapers like me who fear that our livelihood–and our way of life–is in serious jeopardy.
It’s common (and commonly denied) knowledge that e juice does not contain tobacco, and that vaping is not smoking. Recent legislation and taxation would have you believe otherwise. Vaping has faced an upward struggle since it’s been the target of abusive taxes, junk science, and scare tactics, but the FDA deeming regulations have been our biggest foe to date. Here’s why.
The FDA deeming regulations could potentially classify e cigarettes and e juice as tobacco products. Since most e cigarette products were introduced after the “grandfather date” of February 15, 2007, these vape products would be subject to PMTA or pre-market tobacco application testing. To put it blankly, a vape shop or e cigarette maker would have to pay $300,000 (at a minimum) just to file the application, which can be a very “arduous” process, according to Forbes contributor Sally Satel.
The American Vaping Association has appealed to the House to include an amendment that would adjust the 2007 predicate date to accommodate vaping products. While this won’t prevent the FDA from throwing their weight around in other ways, it would ensure that “The FDA just won’t be able to set technology back a decade by banning tens of thousands of products for no reason other than the inability of small manufacturers to pay huge fees,” according to Greg Conley.
This is big. This is really big. It’s perhaps the biggest thing the vaping industry has been up against in a year of negative press, scare tactics, and ridiculous taxes.
What if this doesn’t go through? It’s almost too much to think of. 99% of vaping products would be swept off the market and vapers have openly stated they’d rather resort to getting their e-juice from the black market, which would be undoubtedly risky.
“Coincidentally” big tobacco stands to benefit if the harsh FDA rules are imposed on vape shops. Bonnie Herzog summed it up pretty succinctly by saying, “regulation of the e-cig/vapor industry is broadly positive for the big tobacco manufacturers since it will increase the barriers to entry and likely entrench them even further.”
What the American Vaping Association is asking for isn’t crazy. In fact it’s perfectly logical and perfectly sane. As Conley put it, “We are asking that the FDA not treat vapor products far worse than they do Big Tobacco’s deadly cigarettes.”