New FDA Rule on Vaping: E-Cigarettes to Be Regulated Like Real Cigarettes (Meaning Almost out of Business)

(Pic:Lindsay Fox)

In the eyes of the federal government, vaping just turned into “smoking”.

The FDA has passed a new rule today declaring that e-cigarettes and any related products distributed to stores after 2007 will now be regulated the same way as tobacco is.

This means a lot more than stores carding teens under the age of 18 when they buy them and the price probably going up.

In other words, the entire industry will be regulated potentially out of business. Why?

USA Today explains:

The Tobacco Control Act of 2009 sets Feb. 15, 2007, as the latest date by which all tobacco products would have to have to be grandfathered in. Mitch Zeller, head of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, has said publicly that he couldn’t choose a later date, although industry officials disagree.

That means nearly every e-cigarette on the market — and every different flavor and nicotine level — would require a separate application for federal approval.

And —

Each application could cost $1 million or more, says Jeff Stier, an e-cigarette advocate with the National Center for Public Policy Research and industry officials.

While the industry itself has two years to comply and turn in all of their million-dollar applications for every product made and sold, the stores that sell these products have only three months to comply…

And the FDA can’t wait.

Zeller says contractors tasked with enforcement will be ready to “hit the ground running” on Day 91.

Does that mean swat raids on vape shops everywhere? The FDA is one of at least 40 government agencies that is armed and conducting raids, after all.

Meanwhile, Governor Jerry Brown also signed legislation today that will make vaping illegal in the same places smoking is illegal in California. Others may follow.

It’s a mixed bag. While people have quit lifelong smoking addictions via e-cigarettes, and research has shown it is 95 percent less harmful to people than actual cigarette smoking is, it can ultimately also do more harm than good, trading one addiction for another.

On the flip side, at least people will get to know the ingredients in their vape liquid now:

Robin Koval, CEO of the Truth Initiative, an anti-tobacco health group, said “it’s perfectly reasonable” that people should know what’s in something that “you inhale into your lungs.”

Ellen Hahn, a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing and co-chair of the UK Tobacco-free Task Force, said the new rule is a good first step to controlling e-cigarettes. “From a health perspective, to reduce the social acceptance of them is good because frankly, it’s the wild, wild West out there,” she says. “Vape stores are everywhere.”

Still, any time the government is set to add more regulations, it usually never ends well.

Also read: How to Quit Smoking: Kick the Habit in the Butt and Don’t Look Back

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