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The FDA classified vapor as a tobacco product last month. What does this move to regulate the vape industry mean? How will this law affect vapers - current and prospective? How will it affect those of us who earn a living in the vape industry? Better yet, what kind of impact will this have on the health of America's vaping citizens? These are all important questions deserving of simple and direct answers.
Vape RegulationWhat is the FDA's New Vape Law?
The new vape law classifies vapor as a tobacco product. This law bans e-cigarette sales to minors and requires vape products to undergo governmental review.Why has the FDA Classified Vapor as a Tobacco Product?
The FDA classified vape products as tobacco, because they use eLiquid containing nicotine.Should Vape Products Be Regulated?
The vape industry is not against regulation. Many retailers agree vapor products should undergo testing to ensure public safety. However, vape advocates believe vapor should have its own classification. Just because something contains nicotine doesn't mean it is tobacco. Read more about this topic here.Are All Vape Products Subject to Review?
Products made before 2007 are exempt from the FDA's new vape regulations.Are More Vape Regulations Pending?
Consumer advocates are pushing the FDA to ban flavored eLiquid. The new rule does not ban flavors, but states the FDA intends to regulate them in the future. If such a ban were to take place, some hint we will see the rise of an eLiquid black market.
FDA Regulation and Vape ConsumersWhen Will Vape Regulation Start?
Vape regulation will occur in stages. The first stage bans the sell of vape products to minors and begins August 8th. 48 states have already banned the sale of vapor to minors. This stage will only affect the two states who have failed to create their own age restrictions.How Will Age Restrictions Affect Purchasing?
As of August 8th, the federal government will be in charge of enforcing the vapor age restriction. Vape retailers will have to ask for photo id before selling vape products. Retailers will face fines or be prohibited from selling ENDS for failing to follow the new law. This ban won't effect states with vaping age restrictions. However, the new age restriction will prohibit distributing free samples and vending machine sales.Will Prohibition of Free Samples Put an End to Flavor Bars?
The new law prevents vape shops from giving away free samples. This ban on free samples includes e-cigarettes and all associated components. It's looking like consumers will be saying goodbye to their beloved Flavor Bars.When Will the Next Regulations Come into Play?
The FDA will be requiring vape products to place warning labels on their packaging. This rule will take effect in May 2018.How Will FDA Regulations Affect Products on the Market?
Vape products currently available could remain on the market for three years. Manufacturers have two years to submit product applications to the FDA for review. The FDA will have a year to evaluate manufacturer's applications. After review, the FDA will approve the products or take actions to prohibit them.
The selection of vape products available to the public will decrease following review. Manufacturers will be selective with the products they choose to have reviewed. They will not be able to afford to have their entire selection tested. This alone will be enough to reduce the products available on the market.
One of the biggest losses we will experience is the disappearance of customized mods. According to the new law, manufacturers must prove each configuration of a customized piece is safe for use. To make matters worse, regulations suggest manufacturers shouldn't apply for customized models.Will FDA Regulations Impact Vape Product Pricing?
Vapor consumers should expect to experience the trickle down effect. Vape product prices will increase as manufacturers submit applications to the FDA. Companies will pass the cost of their product applications on to the consumer. Unfortunately, there's no way to gauge how much prices will increase.
FDA Regulation and the Vape IndustryHow Will Regulations Affect Local Businesses?
Many vape shops manufacture e-cigarettes, produce eLiquids, and/or modify e-cigarettes for customers. According to the new regulations, these practices will become illegal. This will have a huge impact on small businesses who thrive off of their backroom production. Many of these "mom and pop" vape establishments will close due to the new regulations.What Affect will FDA Regulations have on Vape Product Manufacturing Companies?
FDA Regulations will have a significant impact on small vape product manufacturing companies. Companies must submit a separate application to the FDA for each product they produce. Application fees could cost thousands to millions of dollars per application. Small vape product manufacturing companies will not be able to afford to pay the high costs of the PMTA. Consequently, these companies will go out of business.Will FDA Regulations Affect Vape E-Commerce?
There are no special rules for the sell of tobacco products on the internet. Retailers must follow the same rules over the internet as they would in a brick and mortar. This may prove difficult for small internet vape shops, so we can expect some sites to close.
FDA Regulation and Public HealthWill Fewer Smokers Make the Switch Due to Regulation?
FDA Regulations will have a huge impact on the vape community. The amount of available products will decrease. Prices will rise. Shops will close. Smokers without an accessible alternative are less likely to make the switch.Will Vapers Go Back to Analogs After Regulation?
When local vape shops start closing, many vapers will go back to smoking. With vape products no longer readily available - nicotine addicts will have no choice.Are FDA Regulations Going to Help Reduce Smoking?
History proves prohibition doesn't work. It didn't work with alcohol. It doesn't work with marijuana. Public tobacco bans didn't stop long term smokers from lighting up. Heavily regulating the vape industry, isn't going to stop vapers from ingesting nicotine.
What You Can Do to Help Fight Against FDA Regulation
In spite of the FDA's efforts to destroy the vape community, the vape movement is not a lost cause. Vaping advocates are fighting hard to keep the industry alive. You can help them by contacting your local representatives and demanding they support HR2058. HR2058 is a stand alone bill extending the grandfather date on vape products from Feb of 2007 to August of 2016. This bill has the potential to save the vape community, so take action now. Let your voices be heard and demand your representatives join the fight for vape rights.