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FDA E-Cig Regulations: Government Intervention Looms

By Raymond Polidori

Friday February 28, 2014
E-cig brands prepare for FDA electronic cigarette regulation
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FDA E-Cig Regulations: Government Intervention Looms

Everyone who has been paying attention knows that FDA regulation of e-cigarettes is inevitable. Since these marvelous devices have an ingestible element to them, the question of e cigarette safety was always at the forefront of the chorus of voices, both for and against the electronic cigarette. Even though most of us at ECCR are wary of government intervention in our lives in the first place, e cigarette regulation is something that we know could also serve as a good thing for the industry.

The biggest question on our minds isn’t if an e cigarette FDA set of regulations is coming, it is how broad the scope is and what the government really intends on doing to either help or handicap this blossoming new industry.

As the market for e-cigarettes has shot up in recent years, we’ve seen the bigger brands take steps to become more responsible corporate citizens. By making these changes in the areas of e cigarette safety and marketing techniques, their aim is to carve out a top niche. You have to believe that they see an e cigarette FDA regulation of some type coming. The best-case scenario for them is an FDA regulation of e-cigarettes that encourages transparency and normalizes the industry out of the grey area it is in right now. That would be in the consumer’s best interest too, offering more protection by raising the standards of the e-cig industry.

In the meantime, the government moves we have seen on e cigarette regulation have been local and, unfortunately, most have been detrimental. New York already banned the use of e-cigs anywhere where smoking is prohibited and Chicago followed soon after with a ban of indoor e-cigarette use. That type of regulation perceives electronic cigarettes mostly in the same way they view traditional tobacco cigarettes. For the millions of Americans using e-cigarettes, this is as humorous as it is baffling. There is a reason why so many people are using e-cigarettes instead of tobacco cigarettes, and regulations like those are missing the point entirely.

“there is no question that e-cigarettes are far safer than cigarettes. -Sally Satel ”

Thankfully there are some logical voices out there that are just as up in arms as we are. Recently Fox News hosted Sally Satel from the American Enterprise institute in a talk about government e cigarette regulation. Satel makes the case for why we should be in favor of e-cigarettes, touting the benefits of e-cigarettes and going so far as to say “there is no question that e-cigarettes are far safer than cigarettes.” She does point out that FDA regulation of e-cigarettes could help by focusing on manufacturing standards and labeling practices, while also keeping the devices out of the hands of minors. Beyond that, the industry should be allowed to grow as a popular alternative to traditional cigarettes. You can check out the full interview here:

UPDATE: The Fox News Sally Satel interview on electronic cigarettes and vaping is no longer available. In its place we have a video of Satel talking about whether or not is nicotine bad for you at a conference. Ms. Satel remains to this day an advocate of vaping and public health. She is a regular contributor to Forbes and frequent television expert. This is Ms. Satel speaking at the Global Forum on Nicotine.

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Some in the media do see the absurdity in the current campaign for e-cigarette bans, including Steve Forbes in this scathing op-ed last month, but you do get the feeling that this may be a long and protracted battle. We were supposed to see a clearer picture of future FDA regulations of e-cigarettes back in October, but they haven’t said a word up until now. That silence won’t last, as further government intervention in the way of e cigarette regulation looms ahead.

One final thought did strike me as I reflected on the Fox News interview. Since when did America start banning things that might be unsafe? Without any real hard evidence and with an argument that seems to be based on the fear of the unknown, e-cigarette bans could pop up in many more cities around the country. I can’t be the only one wondering how this movement is really going to hold up in the face of so much criticism. The hope here is that we’ll look back on this period a minor blip on the road to widespread understanding of the monumental potential of the electronic cigarette.

Just remember the road may be bumpy, so don’t forget to buckle up, but most of all enjoy the ride that is the rising tide of electronic cigarettes!

UPDATE: Here are the latest vaping regulations as instituted by the FDA as of August 2016. The highlights are that every vaping product brought to market after Feb., 2007 will have to submit a PMTA to the FDA in order to gain permission to continue to sell their vape product in the US. This applies to virtually every ecig device available. A PTMA is expected to cost over 1 million dollars and it is expected the not many products will still be available after the PMTA grace period is over in 2 years.

Tyler,
Team ECCR

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