Vaping will become much more difficult on August 8, 2016, for hundreds of thousands of e-cigarette users in the United States. The new federal guidelines for vaping will require a much greater scrutiny of vaping products and will ultimately make it much more difficult for those under 18 to use e-cigarettes and other vaping products.
Starting tomorrow, the Food and Drug Administration will have to approve all e-cigarette and vaping products before they can be sold to the public. This includes all vaping products that have been available since February, 2007. Every vaping and e-cigarette device and product will have to be submitted to the FDA for approval before being made available for sale to the general public. Does this mean that every vaping product will disappear from shelves as of August 8? No. Manufacturers of vaping and e-cigarette products and devices will still be able to make their products available to the public for up to two years while they submit their applications to the FDA and await for an official review.
Some new vaping regulations that will go into effect on August 8 will effect vaping enthusiasts immediately, however. Starting on Monday, vaping stores won’t be allowed to give free samples to customers or sell to people younger than 18. Additionally, vaping store employees will be required to ask for identification from customers who appear to be under the age of 27. Lumped on top of the new regulations regarding vaping are premium, hand-rolled cigars, pipe, and hookah tobacco. Prior to this, it might surprise many that there was no federal law prohibiting retailers from selling e-cigarettes, hookah tobacco, or cigars to minors.
As expected, several vaping and e-cigarette groups and manufacturers have already launched a legal battle to stop the FDA just as cigarette companies did ever since Reader’s Digest announced in the early 1960s that cigarette smoking may cause cancer. The president of the American Vaping Association spoke out last Friday on the group’s website decrying the new federal guidelines as the end of vaping.
“The bad news is that August 8th marks the beginning of a two-year countdown to FDA prohibition of 99.9%+ of vapor products on the market. If we do not succeed in changing the FDA’s [new regulations], the vapor industry will shrink to almost nothing beginning August 8, 2018.”
E-cigarettes and vaping have been under fire as of late for not only being a gateway drug for tobacco, but for containing previously unrealized carcinogens. The debate over whether or not vaping is better for smokers than actual tobacco has been ongoing since the inception of vaping, however, the general consensus is that while it is not innocuous, vaping is definitely better for your health than smoking tobacco.
Vaping has been a hot topic as of late because its popularity has been continuing to climb, especially among young people. In contrast, the use of smoking tobacco among the same age group has been on the decline. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that vaping among high school students rose from 1.5 percent in 2011 to 16 percent in 2015. As of now, federal health officials estimate about 3 million middle and high school students are currently vaping, and that’s been a source of concern among legislators.
Will these new vaping regulations have any real effect? Will young people find a way around the rules if they have already been using e-cigarettes and vaping? Perhaps the real advantage of the new regulations will be more pertinent to those who haven’t already been vaping and using e-cigarettes — and maybe that’s who the new regulations are pointed at. What do you think? Do you have a problem with vaping and e-cigarettes? Do you think it should be controlled by the FDA?
[Feature Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images]