This Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee passed an amendment aimed at safeguarding the vast majority of electronic cigarette and vapor-related products from being negatively impacted by the Tobacco Deeming Regulations, which are set to expire this year, and were predicted to have a devastating effect on the vapor industry.
The amendment was proposed by GOP Rep. Tom Cole and Democrat Rep. Sanford Bishop, and it passed by a great majority of 31 – 19, to the disappointment of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee Chair, who opposed it. This amendment is not about pleasing one political party over the other, however; quite the contrary. This industry is comprised of ex-smokers from all walks of life, different ages, different lifestyles, etc. What everyone in the e-cigarette industry has been asking for is regulation that makes sense, protects underage people from access to these products, and standards of quality that will guarantee safety. This amendment will help protect the industry from regulations that have no place governing it because these products did not even exist on this level when the Tobacco Deeming Regulations originally went into effect.
The electronic cigarette industry as a whole has been considerably relieved that such action has taken place, and that our political leaders from both parties are understanding how important proper and fair regulation is. While the amendment has not been officially passed as law, we are one step closer.
The Tobacco Deeming Regulations are set to be announced in the coming months, and the industry as a whole has waited with intense anticipation for what it will mean for the future of vaping. The date of these regulations dates back to 2007, and regulations regarding all electronic cigarette products that hit the market afterwards were expected to undergo an extensive, and extremely expensive application process. Called the Premarket Tobacco Application, and from what we know of it, it was expected to cost millions of dollars per product in applying. Basically what this meant in terms of vapor products was that most businesses would not be able to afford the expense, and would have no choice but to go out of business.
Thankfully, if passed by the House, this amendment of the agriculture bill will alter the predicate date for vapor products under the FDA deeming regulations. This will protect the industry as a whole, and businesses will not be threatened over the cost of paperwork. So, as you can imagine, the vaping industry is breathing a major sigh of relief!