The vaping industry may be in real trouble due to the most recent FDA vaping regulations that go into effect today. It has been almost a decade since electronic cigarettes hit the market. In the last five years, vaping has become a rapidly trending culture in several regions of the world. With such a widespread base of users, the Food & Drug Administration has decided it is time to set boundaries for sale.
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Although there have not been very many studies to clearly prove the positive or negative effects of full-time vaping, there have been plenty of numbers tossed around. One study showed that an astounding 31 percent of people who used e-cigarettes to quit smoking were still smoke-free after six months. Participants who were vaping more than 20 times per day (that is to say they took more than 20 puffs) had a success rate of almost 70 percent. The success rate of the more commonly used nicotine chewing gum has never been higher than ten percent.
The positive implications of vaping have played a major part in its success on the market. Vape shops and lounges have been popping up all over the country for the last few years like wildfire. Millions of dollars have been spent and made in entrepreneurial shops, quickly attracting the all-seeing eye of the government. Now, the FDA has extended its long arm to reach into the heart of the vaping industry with an extensive list of new regulations.
As of today, August 8, 2016, all electronic nicotine delivery systems (or ENDS) fall under the broad term of tobacco products. Let us remember that there is absolutely no tobacco in these products, nor has there ever been.
“The FDA finalized a rule extending our regulatory authority to cover all tobacco products, including vaporizers, vape pens, hookah pens, electronic cigarettes, e-pipes, and all other ENDS. FDA now regulates the manufacture, import, packaging, labeling, advertising, promotion, sale, and distribution of ENDS. This includes components and parts of ENDS,” says the FDA.
The new regulations ban all ENDS dated after 2007. The only e-cigs that were really in production before 2007 were the small self-contained units available at gas stations. Coincidentally, Altria (aka Philip Morris) just purchased a highly prominent, self-contained e-cig producer, Green Smoke. Their purchase paints a pretty clear picture of the future of vaping.
Under the most recent regulations, small vendors are now crippled. Getting one flavor in one nicotine level approved by the FDA would cost business owners over a million dollars. Most vaping shops have over twenty different flavors at three or more nicotine levels. The figures are absolutely unreachable for more store owners.
Vape shops are no longer allowed to release new rig models. They are no longer allowed to build coils or even teach customers how to build their own. They will not be permitted to release new flavors or give out free samples for tasting. Under the new laws, stores have to charge for the usual free flavor testing. Shop employees are not even allowed to explain how a device works.
One shop owner in Tennessee has given the industry two years or less before it meets a bitter end, stating that the FDA “has taken away our customer service and our ability to continue in the industry.” They have also placed a looming storm cloud over the head of every American who has honestly quit smoking cigarettes through the use of these devices.
[Photo by Nam Y. Huh/AP Images]