Largest Ecig Association Urges Senate to Amend Language in FDA Regulations
The ecig industry is waiting with mounting anxiety as the FDA’s regulatory proposal nears the final stages before it is officially implemented. After examining the details, America’s largest ecig trade association, SFATA, is beyond concerned. They fear that these regulations could put an end to ecigarettes as we now know them. The main concern is a requirement that all ecig products introduced after February 15, 2007 go through a premarket tobacco application (PMTA). SFATA representatives predict the PMTA process would eliminate 99 percent of ecig businesses instantaneously.
SFATA believes asking ecig companies to submit a PMTA for every single vapor product is an unreasonable request. Financial analysts predict that each PMTA will cost between $2-$10 million. The average ecig vendor offers dozens or even hundreds of products and the FDA would require them to submit a PMTA for each one. This will essentially create a roadblock that forces almost all ecig companies to close their doors for good. Thousands of people will lose their jobs and many ecig users will end up returning to tobacco products. It’s truly a worst case scenario.
Cynthia Cabrera, president and executive director of SFATA, said the organization is putting pressure on the Senate to step in and stop the FDA’s current plans. “We are focusing our efforts on the Senate Appropriations Committee, urging members to consider the same language in the House’s Agriculture spending bill which funds the FDA,” she said. “We’re asking Senate members to ‘recede’ to the House provision in final conference before any spending bills are sent to the president’s desk. The good news is that the approved House spending bill doesn’t cut the FDA’s budget, it just precludes them from using any of the funds to implement February 15, 2007 as the deeming date.”
Other ecig activists have also urged lawmakers to get involved. Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said it is vital that Congress get involved immediately to remove the grandfathered dates from the FDA’s regulations. “Unlike smokers, adult vapor product consumers are becoming single-issue voters who correctly attribute their switch from combustible tobacco products to smoke free alternatives like e-cigarettes to saving their lives,” Norquist said. “To crush this new and emerging industry would reverse decades of efforts to get people to quit smoking.”
It’s a stressful time for all ecigarette users, but especially for those who have invested in the industry by starting local vape shops or their own eliquid companies. If the Senate doesn’t take action soon, the FDA will destroy the progress we’ve made over the past few years. If you care about the future of ecigs, pick up the phone and call your state senator today. Urge your lawmakers to step in and advocate for the former smokers that depend on ecigs to stay tobacco-free.