Congress Moves to Safeguard Vaping Industry From Crippling FDA Ban

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Seal_of_the_United_States_Congress.svgThe government’s House Appropriations Subcommittee on Rural Development, Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies is being lauded by the American Vaping Association for its decision to approve a spending bill that protects the vaping industry from FDA-imposed regulations that would have rendered the sale of most vapor products illegal. The American Vaping Association is a strong lobbyist for the vapor industry and advocates the benefits of e-cigs and their related products for the good of public health.

If the bill is enacted, it will forbid the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products from forcing the vaping products that are already being sold in stores to undergo the long and tedious Premarket Tobacco Review process, which is very expensive to comply with and could cost vaping companies millions of dollars. The bill will not hinder the ability of the FDA to regulate vapor products, nor would it suppress their ability to impose strict manufacturing and product standards for quality and safety.

After the regulations were first proposed in April of last year, advocates for both the vaping industry and public health matters sounded a warning. The claimed that if the FDA were allowed to require vapor products to be subjected to the Premarket Tobacco Review, it would result in the sale of roughly 99 percent of the products currently available on the market being banned. This would be due to no other factor than vaping product manufacturers being unable to withstand the overwhelming burden of the cost, which is something that, classically, only the big tobacco corporations have been able to afford.

In November, leaders of the House stated that if the FDA failed to act on the issue, Congress could. Speaker Representative John Boehner, House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Representative Fred Upton and Majority Leader Representative Kevin McCarthy issued a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services to ask that the change be included in the regulation.

The president of the American Vaping Association, Greg Conley, had this to say about the issue:

“If Congress fails to act, the regulations being proposed by the FDA would threaten to prohibit the sale of 99 percent of the vaping products currently being sold. This outcome would be disastrous to not only the thousands of small manufacturers that make these products but also the health of the general public.”

“The bill that is being proposed will not prevent the FDA from regulating these products. The agency will still maintain the authority to proceed with science-based standards for vaping products, as well as other measures. Anybody who says that the bill could strip the FDA of this power is either unfamiliar with the laws or not being straightforward.”

“We’re very pleased to see some progress on the issue. Convincing evidence is mounting from all over the globe that vaping products are making it easier for smokers to quit. To prohibit the sale of thousands of these products while still making cigarettes readily available would be an unconscionable and disastrous act.

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  • Ali Esmaili
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