Today the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a huge announcement in regards to the regulations that would ultimately destroy the vapor industry. In short, the FDA is pushing the time the industry has to submit Pre-Market Tobacco Applications (PMTA's), another 5 years, making the date August 8th, 2022 for all non-combustible tobacco products. That's five years until vaping companies have, to basically get their shit together. But what exactly does this mean for the industry? What does this actually get us?
Well for one, time is always a luxury. For the vaping industry, that's an entire 5 years it has to form the large relationships it needs to be an effective market. These large relationships - well…that is what the FDA wants. Big Vapor essentially. It's much easier for the FDA and local governments to regulate and oversee a large umbrella industry, rather than a flurry of small companies sprinkled throughout the country. Of course, the small business aspect of vaping is what made this industry so great and losing or damaging this will greatly change the soul of vaping. Unfortunately, the FDA and the US Government, as well as larger industries like Pharma/Tobacco, do not care about our soul, and are lobbying billions to destroy it. Nonetheless, we have 5 years to become a powerful market. Five years to get self-regulated. Five years to get rid of the companies who do nothing but profit off of hurting its own industry through bad marketing or bad products. Five years to finish the studies we need to back up our claims. Five years to help change the public's opinion of the industry and the technology. And lastly, five years, to develop a sound backup plan.
Speaking of back-up plans, this announcement doesn't allow us to sit on our laurels. The PMTA process is still looming, and as we all know this is the industries death knell. This means when that five year period comes, 99% of the industry will be evaporated. This is even if there is still an industry left by then. What do I mean? Well the FDA has never really been our biggest issue in vaping. The local governments and state taxes has been KILLING us. And this five year extension only means that State Gov's have more leverage so they can, and will, impose their own regulations, restrictions, and taxes, that can hurt the industry more than any FDA regulation can. Because the 'jury is still out' on vaping, these states now have five years to develop more ruthless plans to profit from this industry. So the fight is still the same.
The fight is still on the local level and the fight is still about flavors. And looking into the announcement the FDA made today,
"…the agency also will seek input from the public on a variety of significant topics, including approaches to regulating kid-appealing flavors in e-cigarettes…"
That is not kid-appealing LABELS, that's kid-appealing FLAVORS. And when the FDA says "public comment" they basically mean lobbyists.
So we still have a very tough fight on our hands. All this announcement really does is put the vaping industry in a longer, more frustrating limbo. We need to utilize this time very wisely, start to unite against those in the industry who aren't doing their part, work our way through Washington, greasing hands, and make sure we have a strong back-up plan for those whose States WILL impose ridiculous regulation/taxes on them. I will admit, this is a win that feels great right about now. We need to cherish these wins because they don't come often and we need to use this as momentum to start to bring the fight to the opposition. So with that being said, I think it’s a great day to be a vaper and I hope to see you continuing the fight with me.