What do FDA Regulations mean for the future of vaping?
Just recently the FDA released their regulations for electronic cigarettes, also known as ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery System). This was a 499 page document outlining what companies would now be required to do. So what does this mean for vaping?
Let’s start with what we at blu agree with in the regulations. Next we’ll get into the parts of these regulations that could really hurt the industry and most of all you the consumer:
- All sales must be made to adults 21 and older.
At blu, we have always supported measures like this, and we even helped push for laws in numerous states to ensure that vaping supplies and devices are sold responsibly to adult smokers.
- Some regulation is a good thing
Let’s face it, we need some regulation just to make sure you know what you’re getting. Having one standard for everyone ensures that you always get a consistent and good product. While blu sets high standards for itself, many other vaping companies do not and setting a quality standard for all is good.
- No flavor ban
Many in our industry were worried the FDA would try to ban flavors. However they realized that adults need flavors when it comes to electronic vaping products and that many will not make the switch unless they find a flavor they love.
- Advertising is still allowed
Our goal at blu has always been to convert as many smokers over to vaping as possible. This can only be achieved if adults know that alternatives to cigarettes exist. There are some restrictions though which we’ll get into below.
- Change in vending machine sales
In addition to the restrictions on sales to anyone under the age of 21, vending machines that sell e-cigarettes will only be allowed in venues that are exclusively open to adults aged 21 and older.
- Regulations as written will stifle innovation
In order to get a product to market companies such as blu will need to undergo lengthy, burdensome studies and create mountains of paperwork to get a new product approved which brings us to…
- A grandfather date of 2007
According to these new regulations all products on the market after 2007 will need to undergo a pre-market approval. The problem with this is that vaping products have advanced so far since 2007 this would be like using a rotary phone instead of your smart phone.
- PMTA Process
This approval process by the FDA which stands for Pre-Market Tobacco Application is the standard by which the FDA measures if a product should be released to the public. As it’s written this could potentially wipe out many small and medium sized business and change the vape landscape as we know it. While Europe took a slightly more favorable approach with their product standards (EUTPD) the FDA has made the process expensive and offers no real guarantee the standard can actually be reached. While FDA states there is a difference between combustible tobacco cigarettes and vapes, they still hold vaping to the exact same standard as tobacco in regards to the PMTA process.
- Vape manufacturers are no longer allowed to let adult smokers sample their products for free.
We’ve heard from many of our consumers and they often have the same story. They were skeptical of vaping until they were able to try it. We’ve allowed tens of thousands of adult smokers to see how different smoking is from vaping by letting them try blu for free. However, under the new FDA regulations this will no longer be allowed.
This about covers the most important aspects of FDA regulation. While blu agrees with some of the regulations, at the heart of the regulations we feel ultimately many of these could hurt consumers in the long run and could affect how you the consumer buys blu products. So what can you do? Well, we suggest you follow our Facebook page for up to the minute updates about regulations and advocacy you can take to help ensure your freedom to vape. Also let us know where you stand on these regulations on Facebook and Twitter.