Digging in to the Tobacco Control Act

We have been talking a lot about the Tobacco Control Act and the FDA’s plan to regulate electronic cigarettes lately. We have been doing this because it is an extremely important topic that all vapers need to be aware of. Today we will look at some specific parts of this proposed plan to better explain why the Tobacco Control Act is not appropriate for e cigs.

Food and Drug Administration LogoThe Tobacco Control Act itself has several specific points that we disagree with. (Here is an overview of the Tobacco Control Act provided by the FDA themselves, if you want a more through read here is the entire piece of legislation.) The points and rules put forth in the Act that do not make sense for electronic cigarettes are:

This legislation assumes that most new users are under 18 years old. While there have been studies suggesting that more minors have tried electronic cigarettes, most of the new users at this point are well over 18, just look around.

The Act bans the sale of packages of fewer than 20 cigarettes. If this goes into place how will they measure e juice? What about disposables? It will change the entire distribution of electronic cigarettes, in favor of larger companies, without making any positive impact. If e juice sales are cut off altogether it will make vaping considerably more expensive for many users who will have to switch back to disposables. We have seen some creative language from Big Tobacco over the past few months that suggests doing just this. If the law makes it necessary to limit sales to disposable the advantage goes right into the hands of Big Tobacco who already have distribution channels, shelf space agreements and huge bank accounts. Smaller vendors who rely on selling high quality e juices would be hard pressed to stay in business.

The Tobacco Control Act also takes away the ability of tobacco manufacturers to make “reduced harm” claims for light cigarettes, ultra-lights, etc. While this makes some sense due to the amount of toxins in smoke and the reliability of a “light” filter it does not apply to vapor. Electronic cigarettes can and are produced with varying amounts of nicotine. As for other ingredients, some of which may be harmful, they are by no means equivalent to the ingredients in smoke. While electronic cigarettes are not perfect, current testing has shown them to be substantially safer than tobacco smoke. Future studies will likely support this trend, making it simple minded to limit the words that can be used to describe differing vapor products. The FDA does have “modified risk” status that can be applied for, but this just adds another hoop to unnecessarily jump through.

The Tobacco Control Act also “Bans cigarettes with characterizing flavors (except menthol and tobacco)”. Theoretically this part of the Act is in place to stop manufacturers from marketing cigarettes to children. There’s a strong argument that it is overbearing for tobacco cigarettes, it is definitely out of place when it comes to electronic cigarettes. Flavors are great. They are not a tactic to get kids to vape. As a former smoker, I always smoked regular tobacco cigarettes. As a vaper I regularly branch out and try flavors. Vapor is not smoke, this is yet another factor that makes the Tobacco Control Act unsuitable for vapor.

These are some of the aspects of tobacco regulation that will do more harm than good to vapor. The deeper we dig into the proposed legislation the more it becomes obvious that they FDA needs a plan specifically for vapor. Let your voice be heard by contacting the FDA and your representatives in Congress and the Senate. Now is the time to take action before laws are formally on the books.

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