This is a guest post by KinglyVapes. 

In recent years, the e-cigarette industry has grown at an unparalleled rate. ‘Vaping’ has shed its niche status and broken into the mainstream. Over a relatively short period of time, it has grown from an emerging cottage industry to become a highly lucrative and influential marketplace. Increasingly large numbers of tobacco smokers are kicking their habit and becoming vapers each month, but there still remains a level of controversy and uncertainty regarding the use of e-cigarettes and vaporizers.

Why Regulate E Cigs?

The FDA commissioner, Dr Margaret Hamburg has likened the vaping industry to the Wild West, claiming that “companies can do whatever they want.”  The lack of regulation has propelled and undoubtedly multiplied the amount of unfit producers who could go into business. Regulation has been encouraged by governmental agencies, medical professionals and the World Health Organization alike in order to both further the research into the long term health effects of vaping and stabilize the turbulent industry by removing unsuitable producers and poor quality products.

The Problem With E Cig Regulation

In theory, regulation would ensure that all producers of e-cigarettes and vaporizers adhered to certain standards of quality, and faced accountability for illegitimate or improper produce and practice.

Regulation of the industry has been a long time coming, however the FDA’s proposed e-cig rules have been met with hostility amid speculation that the proposals are financially and politically motivated rather than based in consumer care.

Gregory Conley, pro-vaping lobbyist and Chairman of the American Vaping Association, has asserted that

vendors and vapers shoud vehemently OPPOSE these regulations, as they will work to the benefit of large tobacco and e-cigarette companies.

Conley is not alone in this view, and indeed the FDA’s proposed regulations have been met with a wall of negative response from similarly minded pro-vaping and anti-tobbacco lobbyists. While the draft reads innocently enough, (child resistant packaging, restriction of sales to minors, labeling requirements etc.) certain proposals have been perceived as having being designed to channel money back into the tobacco industry, reclaiming lost custom from ex-smokers who have made the switch.

CASAA (Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association) have expressed concern with the proposals, most notably the implementation of a sumptuary sin tax on vape products and the grandfather date scheme, which would in effect ban any unapproved product that was placed on the market post 2007. The grandfather date proposal has been the most controversial element of the FDA’s draft, as it could effectively outlaw many existing models and established brands and transform the industry altogether.

The costly approval application tax that must be paid by existing or new producers for FDA approval will inhibit the accessibility and malleability of the industry – the approval application tax will make it near impossible for emerging producers to get small business running, restricting the industry and its operators to a rigid, top-weighted monopoly.  Aside from the more financially murky aspects of the draft, CASAA have identified problems with the FDA proposals in terms of actual enforcement, asserting that the implementation of varying legislation between states could lead to a dangerous “patchwork” system of legality, restricting small manufacturers even further.

E Cig Regulation Can Help, If…

While much anecdotal evidence does seem to suggest a correlation between smoking cessation, e-cigarette use and improving health, the long term health effects of vaping remain unclear.  More in-depth research is needed into the long term health effects of e-cigarette use in order to certify the legitimacy and factual grounding of marketing campaigns which champion vaping as a more healthy alternative to smoking tobacco.

Regulation will naturally accelerate this research and lead to evolution of the industry, as well as ensure that it is harder for ‘cowboy’ producers to cut corners. However, for regulation to truly work, the regulations themselves need to be representative of the consumer and the industry.  Regulation should not be such a divisive issue, and common ground needs to be reached.

You can read the FDA’s proposed rules in full here. Keep up to date with proceedings and have your say over at CASAA.

This article was written by JG, Customer Service Guru over at Kingly Vapes.  Kingly Vapes: vaping gear fit for royalty!