The FDA is pushing for new regulations regarding the electronic cigarette, or e-cig industry. These regulations will include warning labels similar to tobacco cigarettes, making it illegal to sell e-cigs to minors under the age of 18 years old, and the prohibition of free e-cig and e-cig vapor samples. Once finalized, the regulations will establish oversight of what has been a market free-for-all of products, including liquid nicotine vapors of varying quality. It has taken the agency four years since Congress passed a major tobacco-control law in 2009 to get to this stage, and federal officials and advocates say it will take at least another year for the rules to take effect – and possibly significantly longer if affected companies sue to block them.
Perhaps the biggest proposed change would require producers of cigars and e-cigarettes to register with the F.D.A. and provide the agency with a detailed accounting of their products’ ingredients and disclose their manufacturing processes and scientific data. Producers would also be subject to F.D.A. inspections. While this can he hindering for those affected, what is truly shocking is what is not mentioned in the regulations. The flavoring of liquid vapors is not mentioned as being of concern to the FDA, which is curious, as it seems as though the flavors, which include Bubble Gum and Grape, would be targeted to minors. However, as the FDA stated in a press release, the attempt to ban the flavors would only be successful if they could prove that the flavors are what draw minors to the product.
While these pending regulations seem as though they would harm business, e-cig vendors are still seeing growing sales. Only time will tell in e-cigs are fads or are here to stay. In the meantime, however, there are many new e-cig shop and e-shop vendors opening their businesses as this is written. For their sakes, we hope e-cigs are here to stay.