Nicotine consumption in the United States has been hampered by many opponents over the last several decades, both by the government and social activists, and that opposition has been mostly aimed at the cigarette industry, with good reason. Cigarette smoke contains thousands of chemicals that are bad for the body, including many cancer causing carcinogens. While demand for cigarettes and nicotine products has continued despite health risks and federal regulation, a cleaner nicotine product has come into the market, the electronic cigarette.
Referred to as ecigs or vaporizers, electronic cigarettes provide a healthy alternative to traditional smoking. Nicotine infused liquid is vaporized in the device to allow the user to smoke or “vape” the atomized nicotine vapor, while creating no carcinogens in the vapor. This means that the harmful effects of cigarette smoking are neutralized for both the smoker and others around them, as there is no “second hand smoke” with vaping.
As the popularity of vaping has grown as an alternative to smoking over most of the past decade, so has the ecig and eliquid industry, making nearly $3 billion in sales in 2015 alone. However, with the rise in popularity also comes activism and federal regulation. The FDA is currently in the process of developing regulation that would effectively cripple this fledgling market.
What do the regulations propose?
- FDA pre-approval on all liquids. FDA regulations will make it very hard to own a business with ecigs for sale. Many small businesses and ecig shops blend their own liquids to sell to consumers. All liquids would have to be submitted for testing to the FDA before going on the market, a costly expense in both money and time as the testing and approval process would take 2 years and cost up to several million dollars.
- Old ECig Kits. Essentially, there would be no new ecigs for sale. The only models and makes that would be available for purchase would be ones on the market before February 2007. This would mean the end of making your own kit, and any of the other gear advances that have happened over the past 8 years.
- Taxation. The proposed regulations would make ecigs for sale for a small fortune. The FDA are going for a 60% tax across the board on vaping — meaning everything from eliquids to cartridges to vaping batteries. On top of that expense, there are also proposed regulations that would make an ecig user pay 30 cents per milliliter of liquid, raising the overall price for vaping to over 130%.
All of these regulations stand in the way of new a market and industry, one that stands also to help smokers quit cigarettes. In fact, studies show that those trying to quit smoking were 40% less successful when using methods other than vaping. If you’re interested in finding out more or joining a vaping advocacy group, contact the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association or the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association.