Electronic cigarettes: by now, you’ve likely seen them on the streets, or maybe you have even used one yourself to quit smoking. Many people report that “e-cigs,” as they are known, are one of the most effective ways to quit smoking.
Now the FDA will have to approve all tobacco related products which are not currently regulated and were produced post-2007. Cigars, Hookahs, pipe tobacco, will be included in the sweeping change. Buyers will now have to be 18 years of age and show photo ID. Mandated warnings will be printed on the labels.
What does this mean?
Every e-cig on the market will now be required, by federal law, to obtain federal approval via a unique application. Each application could cost $1 million or more, according to Jeff Stier, an e-cigarette advocate with the National Center for Public Policy Research and industry officials, who was contacted by USA Today.
While this may sound like a policy to help “save our kids,” the reality is, it is just a money grab by the federal government. E-cig stores will have 90 days to comply, and the federal government is threatening to “hit the ground running” regarding inspecting them for ongoing applications and compliance. Big Tobacco has lobbied for years to regulate this industry, even going so far as to infiltrate the market with their products and create lengthy warnings in hopes of scaring people back to regular old smoking. Altria and Reynolds American, which are two Big Tobacco owned e-cig companies who partook in these activities.
Yes, they opened a business just for the sake of making that business look bad to scare off customers who would hopefully return to regular cigarettes.
“If you read that (warning) as a smoker, you might think ‘Oh, I’ll just stick with a cigarette,'” said Oliver Kershaw, a former 15-a-day-smoker who quit through e-cigarettes and founded websites that advocate them.
Being under the guise of saving children’s lives is simply an inaccurate portrayal of reality. Not only is this a money grab by the federal government, but it also functions as a way for big tobacco to once again, 100 percent own the market. Big tobacco will be the only companies left with deep enough pockets to afford the fees. And of course, this is what they wanted he entire time. Lets be honest here, the E-cig market has been a huge threat to big tobacco since they became popularized a few years ago.
But now Big Tobacco is once again sitting pretty under the guise that the federal government is helping to “save our children.” Keep in mind; this is the same federal government which attempts to mandate vaccines, encourages behavioral drugs to be disseminated to school children and arrest parents whose children are playing in the backyard. Here is an excerpt from a USA Today article which brings more clarity to the situation.
The FDA‘s rules will especially affect the businesses of smaller e-cigarette makers, which may not have the resources to comply with the agency’s approval process, said Michael Lavery, an analyst with CLSA (Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia) Americas in New York. Lavery said that “could be a positive” for larger tobacco companies, such as Altria Group, Reynolds-American and Imperial Brands, he wrote in a research note shared with ABC News. E-cigarettes currently make up less than 1 percent of revenue for all three companies, he noted.
In response to the FDA’s regulations, Stifel analyst Chris Growe, who follows the tobacco industry, said the larger tobacco companies are already accustomed to numerous laws governing their products.
“We believe the large tobacco companies can thrive in a heavily regulated world, such as the current conditions in the cigarette category,” Stifel analyst Chris Growe wrote in a research note provided to ABC News. “In addition, the level of regulation will be so high that small companies, those typically operating in the E-cig category and other tobacco category, will likely find them to be onerous.”
This is the new prohibition. The millions of dollars and thousands of hours the E-cig industry doesn’t have will lay out a speedy thoroughfare for big tobacco to success. Much like the ancient alcohol prohibition, expect an underground market to crop up.
With the thread of tens of thousands of vape shops potential closing their doors and most manufacturers calling it quits, the millions of people in the US that vape are stuck between giving up their vice or “moving underground.” The newest trend picking up steam has been DIY E-Liquid mixing, where users use easy to find food-grade ingredients and flavors to create their own e-liquid without stepping foot in a vape store. On-line communities like Reddit’s Community r/DIY_eJuice have already garnished over 24,000 active users – all sharing their tips and tricks for DIY E-liquid production.
A Tampa, FL based company, White Clouds Vaping Co, is gearing-up to help transition people who vape from purchasing retail to mixing on their own. “We can teach anyone how to make any flavor of E-liquid in less than 10 minutes without stepping foot in a store!” said Zach Jacobs, the founder of White Clouds Vaping Co.
“We were expecting to see this industry move from the retail store to home-mixing, but we were surprised how quickly it happened. There are thousands of people that are about to lose their job or their business from their regulations and its sad to see how much innovation is being ‘bullied’ out of business. Unfortunately “Big Tobacco” has deep pockets, and when they lose$6bn in sales, you better believe regulations will change shortly after!”
The new regulations are just an old world where Big Tobacco rakes in cash and destroys any competition. No matter what you think of vaping, you can’t possibly think having Big Tobacco in charge of policy is a good idea.