The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has just released its proposed regulations for e-cigs. Vapers and vendors have been waiting for this proposal, and now that it has been released, many are worried about the industry’s future.
According to the new regulations, selling e-cigs (in all its forms) are restricted to only those 18 and above. Buyers will have to show an ID to make sure. Additionally, giving out free samples will be banned, which can be hard for many up-and-coming vape shops. Warning labels will also be required with all ingredients listed. This is to call out the fact that e-liquids have nicotine in them. Manufacturers are also not allowed to sell their products as “health” products unless they cite scientific evidence.
The above won’t pose too much of a problem, what makes vendors up in arms about the new proposal are the other regulations included. Most especially the part where all new products are required to get FDA approval first before being put on sale. This puts the kibosh on many modders and small-time DIY e-liquid makers.
According to the proposal, all e-cig related products after 2007 and new models have to get FDA approval, which means hiring experts to conduct medical research. This can take many months and cost manufacturers about three or four million dollars for each application. Many e-cig vendors cannot afford this though billion-dollar tobacco companies can. This affects users because the products big tobacco companies sell are considered inferior to what independent manufacturers have.
Most e-liquid vendors, including the most popular ones, don’t have that kind of money to have their products approved. What will be left for vapers? Sub-par devices with foul-tasting e-liquid?
“There’s no vape shop anymore if this [law] goes through,” says Greg Conley, former legislative director for the Consumer Advocates for Smokefree Alternatives Association (CASAA).
What many find curious, however, is the lack of regulations on flavored e-liquids since many anti-vapers cite the flavors as appealing to kids. The FDA says this is because it is still too early to create rules that may be too strict since much research still needs to be done.