Announcing a sweeping change in their stance regarding vaporizer products, the FDA’s radical change of heart came as a shock to most in the vape industry.
A press release in late July showed a different side of the administration as the FDA announced plans to hone in on the reduction of traditional cigarettes and combustible tobacco products.
The proposal looks to loosen the restrictive rules laid out a year ago which posed to wipe out most vaping products in, and approaching, the market.
The FDA’s Inconsistent Stance on Vaporizers
The health benefits and harm reduction properties of vaporizers have been a subject of heated debate over the past few years.
An increasing amount of studies are showing that vaporizers are an effective alternative to smoking. Not only are the devices effective, but vaporizers are also a considerably less harmful alternative.
The UK’s Royal College of Physicians, the same agency from the 60s that confirmed tobacco’s cancer risks, advised the UK Government to promote the use of vaporizer products, “as widely as possible as a substitute for smoking.”
In May of 2016, the FDA outlined regulations that would effectively extend their reach to electronic cigarettes, e-liquids, and all other vaping products.
The regulations stated that any vaping product released after Feb 15, 2007, would be subject to adhere to the same pricey FDA approval as traditional cigarettes. That was hugely significant, as the regulations would basically include every vape liquid and most devices found on the market today.
Many of the products affected are made by small independent businesses, local vape shops, and online distributors.
July’s announcement extended the deadline of this limiting process until 2022!
The most recent announcement seemingly shows willingness from the FDA to simplify the process and alleviate some of the burden set on vape distributors and owners.
Vaping Report Analysis
The vaping industry’s youth is revealed with loose and confusing regulations.
The FDA’s radical change of heart will allow the industry much-needed time to organize the structure of the market and ensure compliance with FDA’s new plans without completely cannibalizing the industry.
Reducing cigarette addiction and deterring youth smoking rates has started to take precedence in the conversation about vaping…finally.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in the FDA report, “The overwhelming amount of death and disease attributable to tobacco is caused by addiction to cigarettes – the only legal consumer product that, when used as intended, will kill half of all long-term users…”
“Envisioning a world where cigarettes would no longer create or sustain addiction, and where adults who still need or want nicotine could get it from alternative and less harmful sources, needs to be the cornerstone of our efforts.”
Gottlieb is recognizing the benefits of such an industry for the health of the nation. Part of this strategy is seen to be a power play against cigarette manufacturers, aiming for lower nicotine content in their products to “non-addictive levels.”
Appearing to be the closest endorsement for vaping from the FDA, the administration stated:
“…the FDA is striking an appropriate balance between regulation and encouraging development of innovative tobacco products that may be less dangerous than cigarettes.”
Needless to say, the e-cigarette industry is pleased with the news. Oliver Kershaw, founder of the popular E-Cigarette Forum, and co-founder of Vaping.com told Engadget, “It’s a real bombshell.”
“On a pragmatic level, it just makes sense, it appears to be a joined-up strategy for moving people away from cigarettes to healthier alternatives.”
Reasoning Behind The FDA’s Radical Change Of Heart
Oliver Kershaw pointed out that the FDA’s policy change came just days after the BMJ published a study that suggests the correlation between the vaporizer boom in 2014 to the decline in smoking rates.
It’s no coincidence that revealing evidence against smoking has influenced the FDA’s stance on vaporizers.
Backed by an extremely loyal community, the vaporizer industry has positioned itself to hit back and thrive after being allowed more time to adjust to regulation.
That being said, the FDA isn’t just turning it’s back to let the vape industry run wild.
Products will still need approval by 2022, and anything new to the market will then be subject to its regulation. Moreover, the FDA is adopting increased product standards, hoping to avoid concerns over faulty batteries and e-liquid exposure to minors and children.
For anyone looking to kick their smoking habit, you can do so without the fear your chosen alternative might be regulated out of existence.
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