It is not very long ago since we first learned of the FDA’s proposal to regulate the electronic cigarette industry. Much was anticipated and the general feeling was that there was to be tougher rules to be imposed with regards to vaping. However, this seemed not to be the case. The rules proposed by FDA seemed harmless and quite flexible. It was met with applause and many people saw it as a positive step towards safeguarding the industry. However, a closer study of these new regulations proves to be quite harmful. The new regulations could hand tobacco companies massive power and the ability to actually control the entire vaping market. How is this so?
It may not be very clear how the large tobacco industries are set to gain control of the industry because of the new regulations that have been proposed by FDA. However, the controversial point comes in on the requirement that all electronic cigarette companies should file applications with FDA for all their products released after the year 2007. This piece of legislation is set to bring huge financial impacts on the e-cig companies as all their products will have to be reviewed one by one. Apart from the huge financial consequences that e-cig companies would face, the process is time consuming and a lot will be lost during this reviewing period. It is common knowledge that back in 2007 e-cig technology was not very advanced and thus the kind of products being sold at that time were not very advanced. Over the years improvements have been made and currently the kinds of e-cigs kits being sold are safer and better. E-cig companies would have a hard time convincing FDA to approve products that were being sold back then with the old technology.
With the potential risk of e-cig companies suffering huge losses, more is at risk than what may be imagined. These e-cigs companies support a chain of other small business that benefit from selling their products and these small business may not be able to bear with the financial impacts and thus they would have to shut down making tens of thousands of people loose jobs.
Jason Magnuson who is an entrepreneur and owner a small business that deals with selling of electronic cigarettes also expressed his frustrations on the implications of the new FDA regulations. FDA requires that every single flavour, nicotine level, vegetable glycerin mix in each flavour, propylene glycol and every bottle size should be registered differently. In this case, Jason would need forty different licenses for his small enterprise. This is particularly frustrating and time consuming. If this is the case with only one small business owner, what about the other tens of thousands who would also need licenses?
Another entrepreneur: Amy Schicketanz is also frustrated with the new regulations proposed by FDA. Amy who is the owner of Straight Line Vapors estimates a cost of ten million dollars in order to get one kind of flavour with a certain nicotine level into the market. This is very expensive considering that he has five different flavours and small e-cig companies have already been warned to figure out a way in which they are going to survive this deadly financial impact. Many of the small e-cig companies would not be able to sustain the cost paving way for large tobacco companies to take control of the market once again.
A potential crisis is looming over the e-cig industry with many small companies as well as hundreds of thousands of business men at risk of closing down. This would be devastating and we might just yet again see large tobacco companies regaining control of the industry. Whether e-cig companies will survive this crisis is not known but let’s wait and see.