For several months now ECCR has been thoroughly covering the potential of FDA ecig regulation to drastically change vaping. We are vape advocates and our intention was never to sensationalize, as some have accused, rather we work to shine a light on the potential realities that we in the vaping community are facing and, more importantly, need to face up to. We’re in this together.
When we covered the discovery of the predicate ecig product and what it means for the industry, it was our chance to finally focus attention of what the grandfather date of the proposed FDA ecig regulations really mean. Namely, the potential elimination of 99% of vape shops and vaping products. We are not alone in our work. Vape advocates Greg Conley and Bill Godshall are also working overtime to educate vape shop owners on what could happen unless something changes and changes soon.
Here’s the reality, if FDA ecig regulations go forward as proposed right now, the majority of ecig products will be put out of business. With no inventory to sell, vape shops will follow suit. This will be a massive economic blow not to mention a blow to vapers that have transitioned away from tobacco. As stark as it seems, there are those who will benefit. Pharmaceutical companies will reap the rewards of a damaged vaping industry. So too will Big Tobacco who will enjoy an easy path to monopoly.
The February 2007 grandfather date established by the FDA is key. The proposed FDA ecig regulations have established that any ecig product brought to market after February 2007 will be deemed a “new” tobacco product and required to be submitted for FDA approval. Now meeting FDA standards is not the issue, not at all. Many of the new ecig products will easily meet FDA standards however being required to take on the expense of the approval process is going to be the problem.
Despite what some anti-vaping groups say, the hard fact of the matter is that the vast majority of ecig brands and ejuice vendors are American small businesses. These companies do not have the millions of dollars needed to pass the FDA approval process. It all comes down to dollars and cents. Some ecig brands will be able to manage and go forward in some capacity, but so many others will be forced to turn out the lights and shut the doors.
There are competing bills in congress as we speak. There is a bill to change the grandfather date and allow ecig companies to continue as long as they meet the standards. This is great news but on the other hand there is also a bill to keep the February 2007 grandfather date. The future of vaping as we know it may be contingent on what happens in congress.
Vape Advocates Fight To Educate The Vaping Community
Greg Conley is the president of vape advocates group the American Vaping Association. He is traveling all over the country giving talks and educating vapers and vape shop owners about what really lies in the balance as FDA ecig regulations come ever closer to going into effect. While Mr. Conley does find that some people are aware of what could happen he also encounters many people who listen to him and react with pure shock. Many vapers had no idea how bad ecig regulation could be for them.
Conely says “The requirement that products retroactively undergo premarket review is a multi-million dollar process that involves not just toxicology but also behavioral psychology and physiology. ” He is referring to any ecig product introduced to market after Feb. 2007. Conley estimates that 99% of vape shops will go out of business if regulations go forward as proposed. “We are talking a large number of small and medium businesses,” he said. “It might be cliche, but it’s their American dream.”
Many vape shop owners are vapers themselves who have switched to ecigs as a smoking alternative. They became passionate about vaping and for them their vape shop is a personal endeavor as well as a business and livelihood.
Conley and the American Vaping Association are also taking to social media and mass email campaigns to raise awareness of what is at stake for vaping and smokers in desperate need on an alternative. He urges people to contact legislators about FDA ecig regulations. That’s indeed what we need to be doing.
Bill Godshall: Must See Video
Vape advocate Bill Godshall of SmokeFree Pennsylvania is a very strong voice for vaping. Mr. Godshall has testified before the FDA a number of times and continues to raise awareness of the potential harm of oppressive ecig regulations. In 2009 the FDA actually banned ecigs and Mr. Godshall was a key figure in the effort to stop the ban. he is in no small part a big reason why you can vape right now.
He has been bringing attention to the fact that regulations could wipe out 99% of ecig products leaving vapers with little option but to buy the low quality Big Tobacco ecigs sold in retail stores or to fall back into smoking cigarettes and putting their lives at risk.
Mr. Godshall follows media reports on ecigs very closely. He has noted time and time again how vape shop owners and media are woefully unaware of how ecig regulations could impact vapers, smokers, ecig businesses and jobs. His outspoken advocacy and weekly newsletter are an invaluable resource in the fight against smoking.
We have the potential to save millions of lives and that has to remain at the forefront of our thoughts and actions. At ECCR we never lose sight of that. Along the way, there will be ups and downs because vaping has powerful enemies. Health agencies who spend your tax dollars as casually as buying a cup of coffee. Lobbyists fighting to establish a Big Tobacco monopoly. It’s all happening right now.