Earlier this evening, a simple 2 line bulletin was released by SFATA:
ALERT! According to reliable sources, The FDA is scheduled to release deeming regulations tomorrow at 8:45 a.m. Eastern Time.
Under normal circumstances, all sources would be verified before this article was written, but as this is currently the pinned post on the Smoke-Free Trade Associations Facebook page, we believe it is safe to say that this isn’t a random post designed to grab attention.
Do Not Panic!!
The release of these regulations is actually a good thing for vapers and users of electronic cigarettes. Since they were last seen in public in 2014, the words in these pages have been hung over the heads of business owners and consumers like a spectral executioners axe. You can not fight what you can not see and honestly, up until this point the advocates and lawyers have been swinging at windmills.
The FDA’s views on vaping will be on record in the public arena and while vapers have been able to guess at the contents, they have had nothing concrete to use as an argument.
Many of the arguments that the FDA may have against the vaping industry were created at a time when little was confirmed about the devices, mostly from fear mongering and scare tactics used by the opponents of the industry who have consistently thrown dirt just to see what would stick.
The FDA drafted this work of art when the majority of the general public whole-heartedly believed that vaping was more harmful than smoking, when the majority of stories posted on the internet were about the harmful effects of these products.
As it happens, in the interim, the winds have changed. While many in the American Public Health industry remain steadfast in their beliefs the British Government have taken off the blinkers and are now encouraging their citizens to use these products as a 95% less harmful alternative to their combustible predecessors. As the regulations are released, the Government will have a hard time putting that particular Genie back in the bottle.
What Happens Now
Should this information prove correct, the process of sifting through the regulations can begin. A strategy can be put together to work with, or dismantle the Governments proposals.
Business owners will finally be able to see if their livelihoods are threatened and consumers will probably become more involved in the fight.
If the regulations look anything like the 2014 proposal, many in the United States will quickly realize that the European Union’s Tobacco Products Directive looks like an amazing compromise compared to what they will be left with.
The worst case scenario is that we are confronted with the regulatory package that was brought out 2 years ago, threatening to close all businesses who did not have products on the market before 2007 as the fee’s to stay open would be ridiculously prohibitive.
Whatever happens, though, remember that there are many in the industry who will be working tirelessly to ensure that everyone understands what is going on at every step.
Is the Government willing to close several thousand small businesses, put hundreds of thousands out of work, drive millions back to combustible tobacco and ignore all evidence that they have been led astray by people who have a vested interest in seeing this industry disappear?
More than likely, but at least we will now have the ability to fight them.