California lawmakers have been fighting to get e-cigarettes regulated by the Federal and Dug Administration (FDA). There have been nicotine poisonings that have sparked conversations on how to regulate the manufacturing of e-liquids and e-cigarettes. Lawmakers, including front man Mark Leno, are also very concerned with children using e-cigarettes as a gateway to smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes. Many vaping shops and e-cig manufacturers are worried about the new regulations that may pass due to these community fears.
There are an estimated 800 to 1200 vape companies in California alone and the new regulations in 2016 could really impact their ability to operate. With the electronic cigarette regulations in California regulating e-cigarettes like tobacco, all marketing products must be approved by the FDA before sale. This would cost anywhere from $2 million to $10 million in order to receive a FDA approval and continue operating. Those costs would shut a lot of vape businesses down, leading to a bit of a monopoly within the industry.
FDA E-Cigarette Approval Regulations
In the industry today there are two types of electronic cigarettes prominently sold. Big tobacco produces a small, cigarette shaped e-cig mostly sold in gas stations and grocery stores. The more popular e-cigarette is usually called a personal vaporizer. A personal vaporizer is your average starter kit vape pen that is the simplest form of e-Cigs. Then comes your mods. Mods are larger, more customizable and are mostly sold at small business vapor shops. Statistics show that 99% of vapor shops and manufacturers will need to shut down. This would cut out almost all mods and customized vaporizers and leave only the less popular, big tobacco manufactured version.
The last approval round up from the FDA was in 2007, therefore all e-cigarettes manufactured after 2007 must be sent in for approval. Technology in the industry started progressing at a rapid rate, and now the mods and e-cigs are very different from the ones that were manufactured in 2007. The FDA has proposed different compliance dates to be easier on small businesses, which will hopefully keep the small business model in the industry for now.
State by State E-Cig Regulations
A lot of laws generally seen with tobacco are already in place in many states. Maine, Pennsylvania and Michigan already have age restrictions on the sale of e-cigarettes and liquids. Within the scope of state law with e-cigarettes and manufacturing 40 states have filed 200 bills in attempt to regulate the industry. Among these bills are regulations to prohibit vaporizing wherever smoking is banned, following all labelling laws, creating child resistant packaging and ban all flavoring and advertising that appeals to minors.
Consumer advocates have begun to pay attention to the vapor industry because of the rise in emergency room reports of nicotine poisoning. Testing done on certain e-cigarette liquids have shown to have formaldehyde and other toxic inhalants. These factors have led to this crackdown on the FDA to regulate the industry. Some e-juice manufacturers are taking their own precautions to ensure that they won’t get taken down by regulations. Nicvape operates out a pharmaceutical grade cleaned room in South Carolina. Let’s hope that these regulations can solve all of the problems with vaporizers and still keep the small businesses running.