Vape Laws – The Ongoing Battle

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As vaping and electronic cigarettes become more popular everyday, lawmakers all over the globe are being forced to take a look at the products on the market and ask crucial questions about their safety, tax status, and potential regulations. Both states and federal agencies have begun to propose new vape laws and regulations.


California is currently in the midst of a battle to impose stricter regulations on e-cigarettes. A new bill has passed through the California Senate that would raise the smoking age from 18 to 21 and begin to regulate e-cigarettes as tobacco products.

This new bill has significant consequences. If e-cigarettes receive the same regulations as tobacco products, they will see a massive increase in price due to higher taxes. The law would also ban e-cigarettes from being used at universities, public places, and anywhere else that smoking is prohibited.


While the law has made it through the Senate, it has not yet been approved by California Governor Jerry Brown. Some groups have begun to fight the bill and urge the Brown to refrain from signing it into law. The SmokeFree Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) organized on the steps of the California State Capitol building in an attempt to prevent the law from passing. Republican Senator Joel Anderson joined SFATA on the Capitol steps to help bolster their protest and prevent the bill from being passed.

Not Blowing Smoke is a nonprofit corporation that was started to battle The California Department of Health’s anti-vaping campaign. California’s anti-vaping campaign cost taxpayers an estimated $15 million. The California Department of Health created the campaign in an attempt to stop people from using e-cigarettes and spread negative, and potentially misleading, information about their risks.

Not Blowing Smoke is battling California’s campaign by created a call to action to fight these new potential California bills. On their website, they give readers the Twitter handles and contact options for all California Senate representatives. Not Blowing Smoke details, how in 2016, a bill that would have inflicted tobacco style taxes onto vaping was killed within the California Senate. This bill may have failed, but the same Senator that created it, Mark Leno, has since introduced more legislation and called for special sessions in attempts to get this bill, and others like it, passed. Not Blowing Smoke hopes that through these efforts, they can continue to keep vaping a cheaper and healthier alternative to smoking.


A new set of regulations put forward by the Food and Drug Administration carries with it the possibility to hamper the future of vaping and vape providers. The bill would require all vaping products to be subjected to a retroactive review process. At first, the regulations put forward by the FDA may sound like a small issue, but experts estimate that the cost of one retroactive review for one product would cost upwards of $330,000. This high price would put a huge number of vaping companies out of business.

Seven top tobacco control experts recently published an article in the journal Addiction that encourages the FDA to rethink their proposals on vaping regulations. These experts believe that the FDA is focusing on the fact that vaping may have the potential to act as a gateway to using cigarettes and other tobacco products. “While e-cigarettes may act as a gateway to smoking, much of the evidence indicates that e-cigarette use encourages cessation from cigarettes by those people who would have otherwise smoked with or without e-cigarettes,” said David T. Levy, PhD, of Georgetown University and a professor in the department of oncology at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

These experts are not alone in their outcries against the FDA. Many members of both the U.S. House and Senate believe that the bill favors Big Tobacco and that the new FDA will force smaller businesses out of the market. Members of the House Appropriations Committee met last week to discuss the bill, with many hoping it would eliminate the parts of it that force new vaping products to undergo a retroactive review process.

More updates will come as they develop.

Written by Luke Sipka

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1 Comment

  • Reply May 5, 2016

    Chuck Lantz

    I’ll bet you a dollar that in every boardroom of every Big Tobacco company headquarters in the USA, champagne corks are popping right now, as they wildly celebrate the FDA’s decision to regulate e-cigs.

    Why? It’s simple; … as regulations go into effect, and as this article states, prices of just about everything related to vaping will soar, which in turn will drive a probably significant number of current vapers back to tobacco products as one of the primary reasons they switched – vaping is (was) much cheaper – vanishes.

    That, plus the fact that major tobacco companies have already invested in vaping product production, and are in a much better position to pay the initial research fees required to pass the new government regs, means that, once again, Big Tobacco has (re)-cornered the nicotine addiction market.

    The fun part of all this is that Mark Leno, the California state legislator who has led much of the anti-vaping battle, owned a sign-making company before he went into politics. His company made heavy use of cut vinyl lettering and graphics for the signs his employees made, a process that has been found to be carcinogenic.

    Full disclosure: I know this because I had a sign installation company at the same time Leno had a sign company. In fact, he contracted with me a few times to install his signs.

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