Official: FDA – Vaping Essentially Banned

UPDATE: While writing this story, news broke that regulations have been issued. They will now be regulated the same way as cigarettes. Under this regulation, the FDA will have to approve all tobacco products not currently regulated that hit stores after February 2007, or essentially every product on the market today.

So this isn’t just covering devices either. Every flavor of e-liquid and every strength variation will require FDA approval. With each application costing up to $1,000,000.00 we highly recommend you start stocking up on juices.

Please contact your representatives and share this story ASAP! We all need your help!

We have also just found the FDA released statements: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm499234.htm. So in 90 Days there will be the following changes:

  • Not allowing products to be sold to persons under the age of 18 years (both in person and online);
  • Requiring age verification by photo ID;
  • Not allowing the selling of covered tobacco products in vending machines (unless in an adult-only facility); and
  • Not allowing the distribution of free samples.

Then there will be a staggered timeline allowing manufacturers 2 years to continue selling while they submit applications. They can offer up to an additional year while the FDA approves the application for new products which means it’s going to be a lengthy process.

In order for manufacturers to comply they will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Registering manufacturing establishments and providing product listings to the FDA;
  • Reporting ingredients, and harmful and potentially harmful constituents;
  • Requiring premarket review and authorization of new tobacco products by the FDA;
  • Placing health warnings on product packages and advertisements; and
  • Not selling modified risk tobacco products (including those described as “light,” “low,” or “mild”) unless authorized by the FDA.

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In a bit of shocking and potentially terrible news, the FDA could be announcing regulations today before the grandfather date is adjusted by congress. According to USA Today, industry officials and health advocates say federal officials will issue a long-awaited final rule Thursday that would regulate electronic cigarettes and premium cigars the same way as cigarettes and regular cigars. If the FDA does stick to the date of February 2007 in these rulings, it would essentially harm the vaping industry potentially beyond repair since almost all devices did not exist on the market before then.

Mitch Zeller (head of the FDA Center for Tobacco Products) has said in which he cannot choose a different date than February 15th, 2007 because of the Tobacco Control Act of 2009. The bit of hope we have here is that industry officials tend to disagree with him. We also are offered hope in the fact that the House is working on an amendment to the appropriations legislation that has passed the House Appropriations Committee. As we all know, things take forever to get passed in Washington, so we hope they will speed things up!

The proposed rules were released just over 2 years ago back in April 2014. Activists from both side have been submitting their thoughts and opinions ever since. While we aren’t sure what the result will be, it sounds like a middle ground is being met in preventing an outright ban but also tightening things up substantially in the industry. Another silver lining to this is that the rule is anticipated to give the industry two additional years to comply with new regulations for registration. So make sure you contact your house representatives to try and rush things through on the amendment to the grandfather date. They are proposing a date of 21 months beyond the date regulations are passed.

Many officials in the industry are saying that it could cost $1,000,000.00 (let that sink in) or more for each application with the FDA under rules. That means for every product variation they have, they would need to go through this process. We believe this will all but hand the industry to the likes of big tobacco. It certainly will put a damper on new innovations after the compliance period begins which means the best devices you’ll get are out there today.

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