The deeming regulations announced by the FDA caused major concern among vapers and manufacturers. Over the past year, the FDA has extended its attacks on the vaping industry and it is seeking to pass regulations that could put many companies out of business. While the FDA claims that the regulations intend to protect the public from the possible dangers of vaping products, the truth is that they benefit large tobacco companies. The regulations are set to make things so difficult for vaping businesses in the United States that most of them won’t be able to comply. For consumers, the regulations mean less options.
While the initial deadline for e-cigarette manufacturers to register their products with the FDA has been extended, the threat persists. The amount of conditions that need to be met is overwhelming and many businesses haven’t been able to complete all the paperwork required. It is possible that this is exactly what the FDA wants since it would push companies to take their products off the market. By making the process difficult and expensive, the FDA can bring an end to the majority of e-cigarette manufacturers. Thankfully, not everything is lost and the three-month extension announced at the beginning of May, will not only give time to businesses to complete the requirements, but also can bring changes in the approach of the FDA, once a new director is confirmed. After all, President Trump’s nominee Scott Gottlieb is said to have a more supportive view on vaping.
Under the Deeming regulations, manufacturers and vendors require approval from the FDA to produce and sell vaping products. It is likely that the cost of each application goes over one million dollars, without any guarantee that the FDA would accept it. The requirements are designed to be very difficult to complete. For instance, manufacturers are asked to prove that their products is beneficial for the overall public health, based on scientific studies. The investment that e-cigarette companies would need to make in order to comply with all the demands of the FDA is considerable and many businesses simply won’t be able to afford going through the process. The FDA probably counts on that, which is why the best option for the vaping industry is that the regulations are stopped.
Independent manufacturers would the most affected by the regulatory system. The implementation of the FDA rules would mean that most of the products that are currently available, would disappear from the market within a few years. The regulations will also stop the creation of products in the United States, affecting innovation and new technology. Although the FDA and e-cigarette detractors state that their actions also seek to protect children from nicotine addiction, the ban doesn’t target cigalikes such as the ones produced by the large tobacco companies. Furthermore, while they claim that they are concerned about the risk of nicotine, they consider patches and gum as safe. Conveniently, it seems like when nicotine is used by the big pharma companies there are no issues, but when it comes to vaping products, it suddenly becomes a threat.
In the end, if the FDA gets away with its strict regulations, the only winner will be the tobacco industry and not public safety as the agency claims. Smokers who want an alternative to traditional tobacco products won’t have other choice but to buy the low quality options produced by the same large companies that make the products that they are trying to quit. Without strong rivals, the hegemony of tobacco products will remain unchallenged and many people will simply continue smoking. The Deeming regulations are nothing but a disguised ban that has been devised in collaboration with the tobacco and the pharmaceutical industry.