Will vape regulation kill the industry?
Vapers and vape businesses in the US are currently concerned about the regulations that could soon come to fruition in the wake of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) final report to the White House Office of Management and Budget.
In a nine-step process that began more than four years ago, these moves to regulate the industry are now up to their eighth step. The problem is that no one is very certain about what those regulations are, as they are yet to be made public. Naturally, speculation about what they may contain has been rampant, with most guesses centering around the proposals made by the FDA in 2014.
This report included rules similar to those found with cigarettes, such as banning free sampling, the sale of vaping products to minors, and warning labels on vaping products.
In the time between those proposed regulations and now, the FDA has received public feedback, reviewed the proposal, and written up final regulations. Now that it has been sent on to the White House, we have a three-month wait to hear about the final regulations when they become official in the ninth step of the process.
Of the entire proposed regulations, however, the biggest issue for businesses is the grandfather date, which is set for February 15, 2007, and essentially determines which products are allowed to remain on the market once the regulations become official.
As vaping has grown exponentially in the last eight years, this cut-off date would mean that the vast majority of companies and products would be under fire.
Gregory Conley, the president of the American Vaping Association, said it "would decimate nearly every single small and medium-sized business in this market… thousands of businesses would close overnight."
Furthermore, in a 2014 letter to the Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, three House leaders wrote that the rule would "impede innovation and impose unnecessary regulatory burdens on both the FDA and regulated industries."
As such, the FDA regulations could completely change the American industry as we know it.