Earlier on in the year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implemented new regulations for e cigs. With these new regulations, electronic smoking devices including e-cigarettes will be classified as tobacco products, even though they do not contain tobacco. The FDA also ruled that all tobacco products (such as the flavors and oils used in e cigs) will have to undergo government review. The new regulations put in place could negatively effect e cig users and e cig culture, as well as the industry as a whole.
Vaping (the use of electronic cigarettes) entails inhaling water vapor via a vaporizer, or e-cigarette. In some ways, vaping is comparable to smoking cigarettes as it aims to give the e cig user a similar experience to that of smoking a cigarette. With that being said, the use of e cigarettes means that you are protecting yourself from all the health risks and physical effects which come with smoking cigarettes. Particularly for this reason, e-cigarettes should not be regulated in the same ways as cigarettes which are more harmful.
The new regulations from the FDA mean that sellers will have to check for a buyer’s valid ID to ensure that they are over 18. Before the regulations, most states had already banned the sale of e-cigarettes to those under 18 years of age. Companies that make e-cigarettes and other vaping products will have to put warning labels on all packaging. The warning labels would primarily be about the fact that the products contain nicotine. The necessity of warning labels will be put in place in May 2018.
The manufacturers of e-cigarettes and related products will need to undergo approval from the FDA. This could seriously harm and slow down manufacturers’ businesses because each product will need to wait for FDA to review it before it can go on the market. Smaller businesses will suffer the most. This would also encourage the black market and spark a great deal of illegal and unsafe e-cigarette businesses popping up. Many legitimate vaping businesses could be unfairly effected by the regulations. Manufacturers need to submit various specifics about their products by certain dates. This is a complicated process which could mean that manufacturers are unable to submit the information and documents to the FDA in time.
Due to the fact that they will now be classified as tobacco products, e-cigarettes and their liquids cannot be given out as free samples to customers. Many customers rely on free samples to figure out their preferences. Manufacturers will also not be allowed to advertise, in any way, that vaping is a safer alternative to traditional cigarette smoking. This could lead to more people smoking cigarettes due to mistakenly thinking that vaping is as dangerous. However, e-cigarettes have the potential to be lifesaving as they can prevent people from smoking traditional cigarettes. This is especially true in cases where vape juice is made with organic ingredients.
The FDA now classifies vaping products as tobacco products, despite the fact that they are free from tobacco. Initially, it might seem as though new FDA regulations would be welcomed and positive. Yet they could harm the industry as well as users of e cigs and e cig products. The manufacturers and retailers of legitimate e-cigarette products could be put at unnecessary risks. People could be discouraged from switching to the safer alternative of vaping which would result in more and more at risk cigarette smokers. Vaping is not the same as smoking cigarettes and so should not be classified as such.