It seems as though the rules governing the e-cigarettes industry could soon be relaxed as brand new allies join the fight and help the industry. This comes just in time with the Trump presidency pushing ahead and filling a variety of health positions within the administration, and passing a new budget, making for a perfect time to start discussing the rules and regulations.
Discovering New Allies
It seems as though the e-cigarette industry has found some new and maybe unexpected allies as a number of conservative groups have now written letters and sent them to the government. These letters are urging the government to include a pro-vaping provision in the budget. This is a bold move, and certainly carries much more clout thanks to the various groups that have gotten involved. This pro-vaping provision is something the industry would be thrilled to see happen.
Initially introduced by Representatives Sanford Bishop, D-Ga and Tom Cole, R-Okla, it had interest from both sides of the aisle. This provision would see to it that thousands of vaping products would be exempt from the Food and Drug Administration approval. It was just last year that then President Obama termed e-cigarettes to be part of the tobacco group of products, which also means they are subject to FDA examination.
The industry argues that the FDA approval process would be so expensive and lengthy that it would, in fact, force many of these e-cigarette companies to have to close up shop, making a very significant blow to the industry as a whole.
Trump seems to be on a roll to reverse many of Obama’s regulations, so this push to include the provision could be what Trump is open to.
Not All Agree with the Provision
While there is a push to include the provision for the e-cigarettes industry, at the same time not everyone agrees with it. There has been some push-back in the form of public health advocates. Advocates are arguing that by allowing the FDA to go ahead with its approval process, they will, in fact, be guaranteeing that the products are safe, both in terms of the e-fluid used and the e-cigarettes.
Representatives from 51 groups, including the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the American Lung Association, are urging the government not to change the current regulations.
The FDA’s New Face
The fact that the FDA has a brand new head is also helping to bring this issue to the forefront. Dr. Scott Gottlieb was confirmed just a couple of months ago as the FDA Commissioner, and has already commented that he is hoping to streamline approvals and really push the boundaries. Gottlieb was actually the former FDA deputy commissioner, making him very familiar with the FDA and its operations.
While Gottlieb has been criticized by some due to his financial ties to the industry, he still managed to be confirmed. Ironically Gottlieb has served on the board of a retailer of e-cigarette, which makes him uniquely aware of the industry and its issues. He has since recused himself from any companies that would conflict with his new role in the FDA.
Gottlieb has stated that he feels e-cigarettes are “reduced harm products” and that he would like to see them available to people who are looking to transition from combustible cigarettes.
Where the Industry Stands Now
As to where the industry stands right now, it’s more of a wait and see approach. Those in the industry, and the groups supporting it, are very much moving forward with their requests to add the pro-vaping provision to the regulations so as to allow the industry to move forward and expand. The FDA approval process is something that many believe the industry just won’t be able to weather thanks to a number of factors.
Consumers are also left standing on the sidelines as they wait to see if the number of products available to them in the e-cigarette industry remains the same or starts dropping off if companies are forced to close. For now, they can at least proceed as normal and purchase their various e-cigarette products such as the Eleaf Starter Kit, which provides all the main items vapers need to get started.
Vaping is an industry that seems to be stepping into the focus when it comes to government rules and regulations, with members on both sides of the aisles and various groups picking a clear side in the debate. Only time will tell which side comes out successful.