Now that the government is officially back to work the FDA will be appealing to have the control over the official status and marketing of electronic cigarettes. Up until now the FDA has issued warnings and told the public to be cautious. Now they want full control. The problem from a vaper’s point of view is that they will most likely seek to lump electronic cigarettes and other vapor devices into the same category as tobacco cigarettes. While we as vapers are open to some regulation there are some points that need to be addressed.
What’s So Bad About It?
First off, this bit of legislation would give vapor products a legal definition that is identical to tobacco cigarettes. As all vapers know that they are two different products, this would unfairly label each and every electronic cigarette, mod, and every other vapor product out there. On top of that our government works on precedent, meaning what became law in the past helps judges to create laws in the future. By legally defining vapor in the same manner as tobacco it would become increasingly difficult to have it relabeled correctly in the future. This would create a series of losing battles for the vapor community, which is being targeted even though the FDA cannot show scientific evidence that vapor is in fact as adverse to one’s health as tobacco. Aside from this point, this regulation would negatively affect the vapor community by:
Raising the price of electronic cigarettes by adding enormous taxes to the products. The taxes would not be clearly defined as e juice and leaf tobacco are not the same thing, but they are likely to be steep.
Limiting where electronic cigarettes can be purchased. Namely the FDA will try to cut off online sales. This will again affect price as it is less expensive for manufacturers to sell online. It will also mean that you have considerably fewer options when you want to make a purchase. Instead of having your choice of nearly every electronic cigarette manufacturer out there, you will be limited to what is in stock at stores near you.
Limiting the marketing capabilities of electronic cigarette manufacturers. Television ads would be out along with several other communication channels that are currently available. While this would seemingly hurt manufacturers more than vapers, limiting the number of ways to get the word out would lead to fewer options on the market. Smaller companies with good vapor devices and juices would be forced to select from a small range of advertising options, all because the FDA would lump e cigs in with tobacco instead of looking at them like the individual product that they are.
Potentially reducing the flavor options that are available. The FDA is using a study that stated that e cig usage is up in teens to argue that the existence of flavors other than tobacco and menthol is a ploy to get kids to vape. Most vapers enjoy the broad range of flavor options, many even stick to fruity flavors by choice. We’re not talking about children here, we’re talking about adults, many of which used to smoke tobacco and now do not.
Much like the vast majority of manufacturers we are open to some regulations being put into place. We do not think that children should be allowed to purchase or use electronic cigarettes. We also would like to see some quality standards put into place so that low end manufacturers aren’t producing shoddy e juices. Both of these laws would improve the vapor community in the end. Quality standards alone would lead to more testing so that we have more data on the exact effects of vapor. We do not support a “quick and dirty” regulation policy that states that vapor and smoke are the same thing. The deadline for the FDA to file their proposal is October 31. We hope that our government makes the same decision that the European Union just did, and decides not to allow these changes to be made.