How the Proposed FDA Regulations Are Affecting the E-Cig Industry

How the Proposed FDA Regulations Are Affecting the E-Cig Industry

The FDA recently announced a long-awaited proposal on e-cig regulations. This followed months of speculation from vapers and e-cig producers, many of whom anticipated sweeping changes to the industry. While there are several notable changes in the proposal – a ban on the sale of e-cigs to minors, for example – the e-cig regulations are not as extensive as some had feared. The proposal is now open to public comment, and it may be months or years before an actual law is put in place. 

Ban on the sale of e-cigs to minors 

One of the first e-cig regulations in the proposal is a ban on the sale of e-cigs to minors. Anyone trying to buy e-cigs will have to present valid photo identification that shows they are at least 18 years of age. The FDA did not propose a ban on the online sale of e-cigs. Online users will be required to enter their birth date before making a purchase, but online communities of vapers will be largely unaffected by the proposal. 

Health warnings

The FDA also proposed labels on e-cigarette products warning users of the possibility of nicotine addiction. This warning would also be extended to any e-cig advertising. There would be no further health warnings. In the proposal, e-cig companies would not be able to make health claims of their own in any form of advertising. This is unlikely to have a significant effect on the vape community or the e-cig industry as many people are already aware that nicotine is present in e-cig products. 

Ban on free samples and vending machine sales 

Free samples of e-cigarettes are banned in the proposal along with vending machine sales outside of adult-only areas. An adult-only area would be one that requires valid photo identification in order to enter. This aspect of the proposal is a relatively minor one, and it shouldn't have significant consequences for the industry or the vape community. 

Product approval

The proposed e-cig regulations would require e-cig companies to register new and existing products with the FDA. If the e-cig regulations are made it into law, e-cig companies would have two years to complete an application process for each one of their products. During that two year period, companies would be required to register with the FDA and disclose the ingredients in their products. While product and quality control standards are implied in the proposal, it is not clear when they would be implemented. While this component of the proposal does not have any major short-term consequences for the vape community and e-cig industry, the long-term picture is less clear. It is not yet known which standards the FDA will put in place during the product approval process. 

While any e-cig regulations can put a damper on what has become a thriving community, on the whole, this proposal is not threatening. Advertising regulations were not proposed, and there will not be a ban on flavorings. This will encourage e-cig companies to continue their production of innovative new products. A lot can change during this upcoming period of public comment, but the FDA took a step in the right direction with e-cig regulations that will not hamper the industry.


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