If you own one of the 8,000 plus dedicated vape shops in the United States, this post is for you. If your business is one of the several million establishments that now enjoy selling electronic cigarettes, e-hookahs, and vaping devices, you may also wish to pay attention. As we all know (or should know by now), the FDA deeming regulations that turn a great many items into defacto tobacco products will go into effect in less than 60 days, after which point we’ll see a massive shift in the way that we all do business.
Let’s take a couple of minutes to look at the best practices for making sure that we can not only keep making money from the vaping industry, but also keep it intact for as long as possible.
What Deeming Regulations Mean For Business
The number of businesses that will be directly affected by these regulations is staggering, yet the number of owners who actually grasp the situation and are acting against them appears minuscule in comparison. We have a monumental federal power grab and it seems as though most people have missed it. On August 9th, you may not notice much difference in the way you do business, but over the following 2 years most of the companies operating in this industry will be gone. The FDA’s regulatory burden will be too much for 99% of the companies supplying e-liquid and vapor technology to bear, and will be forced to close up shop for good.
By removing these companies, they (the government) are retarding the rapid advancement in technology that we have enjoyed over recent years, as well as destroying the massive variety of products that have time and again helped smokers to move to a less harmful alternative. Cigarette sales are rapidly declining, and in a perfect world, many more than the 8,000+ we mentioned at the top of this post would be adopting the third or fourth generation products as a way to help those numbers drop faster.
How Can You Help
The vaping industry already has a small number of advocacy groups and trade associations working around the clock to try to affect the way that these regulations are implemented. The way that these things were written, unless a product was on the shelves before 2007 (and there was only 1), they will be essentially outlawed in 3 years. Unless, of course, the producers can get authorization from the FDA at a cost of around 1 million dollars per SKU (many companies have hundreds of products), which analysts have already determined is essentially impossible.
We need you to make sure that your customers are fully aware of the ramifications of the regulations, to get them involved with The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, and that their voices are heard as the battle is taken to DC (you can even point them directly to this post from 2 weeks ago). We need you to ensure that you are involved with The Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association and your state trade associations to put your support behind those who are actively seeking to keep products on your shelves.
The bottom line is your bottom line, do what you can to protect it in the long-term. No one gets into business to lose money, but if we all don’t start pulling together soon, that is exactly what everyone (with the exception of a couple of massive corporations) will be doing.
If you are a vape shop owner, please comment and let us know your vape shop name, location, and what you’ve done to ensure your customers are aware.