Guest Post: What Will Vaping Look Like if Regulations Pass?

What Will Vaping Look Like if Regulations Pass?

All vapers who pay attention to the industry know that politicians and governmental agencies are working to ban vaping, or to strongly curtail it. Even just a quick search on Google for news mentions of “vaping” shows the huge amount of effort to tax, ban or regulate on all levels–state, to federal, and internationally.

Though most vapers know that the threat of regulations loom, they don’t really understand what the consequences of these regulations are. What exactly will all of these regulations to do vaping if they are successful in passing?

We did some research, and quickly realized that these regulations have the chance turning vaping into a barren wasteland–where cigalikes are king, and almost everything–even your basic Go devices–are completely banned…and those devices which do remain are taxed to an extremely high rate.

Here’s what could happen:

  1. Banning of Most Vaping Gear

If current proposed federal regulations are implemented as-is, essentially all vaping products would be banned immediately or over the course of a number of years.

How can this happen?

The potential pitfall comes from the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009, which is the law that brought e-cigarettes under the control of the FDA to begin with. This law allows that tobacco products on the market before February 2007 may remain without further hurdles. However, items that were marketed afterwards are required to go through FDA approval. The only devices released after February 2007 that would get an “easy pass” towards approval would be devices that are “substantially equivalent” to the devices released prior to that date. For those who would seek to have the device approved, they are walking into “basically uncharted territory”–it is expected that companies would be forced to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars on a per-product basis for a process that could take years in order to have their product approved.

Unfortunately, therefore, the question begins to become: “what were the eCigs that were around back in 2007?”

Some examples include the Janty Yentl, ePipes, and devices made by Ruyan such as the Ruyan v8. Of course, these are mostly cigalikes. Unfortunately, this is not where the misery stops. Most of them are of extremely low quality (take a quick look at the Janty Yentl), and look like they would fall part with being touched the wrong way.

Their battery capacity is extremely small–about 150mAh to 180mAh per battery. This means that you’ll be required to carry around 3 or 4 batteries in your pocket throughout the day. Let’s not forget about the fact that they only use cartridges rather than refillable tanks, and their extremely low atomizer life. These combined leave a device that has essentially no ability to customize or to control items such as air flow and flavor.

The link above referened an e-Cigarette-Forum thread about eCigarettes in 2007. Here are some interesting comments left-

“The batteries were so small that you had to carry many around throughout the day”

“Cartridges were tubes you fitted onto the ends of atomizers. They were stuffed with aquarium fish-filter foam, into which you dripped maybe 0.3 – 0.4ml of liquid. Needless to say, you had to refill the cartrdiges quite frequently, so you carried at least one bottle of e-liquid with you”

“2 batteries, a dripping atomizer, 5 pre-filled cartridges, all for about $150”

“You had to order your eJuice from China, which back then could make you sick (first-hand experience)’ in turn, all the hassle would cause you to go back to smoking again”.

What can you do to combat these impending FDA regulations?

You can submit a public comment to the FDA to express your feelings on this issue. You have until July 2 to do this! You can check it out here.

State and local taxes

The taxes proposed by the anti-vaping community are absurd. Here is an example:

–         70% Tax on Vapor Products, tax rate will rise as city raises the cigarette tax, currently under consideration in Washington, DC

–         20 cents per ML tax on eliquid passed the Kansas Legislature.

–         5 cents per ml new tax likely to be imposed in Louisiana, which as CASAA points out, makes it easier to lead to future raises.

–         Washington state – proposed 60% tax on vapor products. This proposed tax caused one of the largest eJuice producers—Mount Baker Vapor—to begin moving from Washington to Arizona.

It is quite possible that the taxes on vaping gear could essentially double their cost. For example, the 95% wholesale tax on ejuice in Minnesota in of nearly doubles the price of eJuice. If taxes are lumped into the taxes on standard cigarettes, this doubling in price is almost guaranteed.

What should vapers do to fight regulation?

It’s the duty of the entire vaping community to understand the regulatory prognosis and to take steps to oppose undue regulations.

We ask that all vapers stay up-to-date. You can do this by keeping current on various vaping advocacy resources. Some that we would recommend specifically include CASAA (The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association).

Guest Writer John Fargo is the Director of Advocacy at Hookah Pen King. He writes extensively on vaping regulation issues.

Casaa 3rd call to action!

Casaa has released another call to action, this is the important stuff so make sure you Click here and complete the CQ Roll Call Campaign.

 

Source: http://blog.casaa.org/2014/06/third-call-to-action-for-fda-proposed.html

Third Call to Action for FDA Proposed Regulations – Demand Congressional Hearings Investigating FDA and CDC’s Actions

On Thursday, May 8th, CASAA released the Overview of its Action Plan Regarding Proposed FDA Regulations.  

  • On May 11, 2014, CASAA released the first of several Calls to Action anticipated in CASAA’s Action Plan.  
  • On May 21st, CASAA released the second Call to Action.  
  • The First Call to Action is still active, so if you haven’t yet participated, please do so now.  The Second Call to Action has now concluded.  


This is the Third Call to Action in CASAA’s Action Plan.

 
This Third Call to Action represents consumers’ first “ask” of Congress, namely, a demand for oversight and investigative congressional hearings regarding CDC’s and FDA’s bad faith actions in connection with e-cigarettes.  Many of CDC’s misrepresentations are set forth in CASAA’s testimony to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.  If you want more information on how the FDA has misrepresented the science in connection with the proposed regulations, you should read the the errors and misstatements that are currently being cataloged in our AntiTHRLies blog.


We have created a campaign through CASAA’s CQ Roll Call program, which will enable to you to directly contact your elected federal legislators (House and Senate).  Click here for the CQ Roll Call Campaign for this Third Call to Action.

You will be asked for your name, mailing address, email address, and telephone number.  All of this information is required by the program in order to find your elected representative and senator and to deliver the email to them.  (CASAA does not share its email list or membership list, so the personally identifying information you enter will only be available to CASAA through our database and to the recipients of your email.) 

The first and last part of the email is not editable.  It ensures that a consistent message is sent to Congress by all CASAA members.  The middle portion of the email, however, is completely editable by you, and you should feel free to make whatever kinds of edits you wish.  We particularly encourage you to edit the email so as to add a brief paragraph (perhaps two to three sentences)  sharing your personal story.

If you plan to substantially edit the email, you may wish to copy the text into a word processing program and make the edits there, then copy and paste back into the CQ Roll Call email.  We have had two reports over the last several months that CQ Roll Call might “reset” when you keep the window open for a long time or when you open a separate browser window, causing you to lose any unique text you’ve added (and reverting back to the original).  

Please take a moment to share this Call to Action with others.

U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE TOMORROW

 

URGENT!
U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE TOMORROW
WE NEED FIVE MINUTES OF YOUR TIME!
Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming
If you live in one of those states, you have a senator on the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee.
That Committee is holding a hearing regarding e-cigarettes TOMORROW, Thursday, May 15th, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. The sole witnesses at that hearing will be be Tim McAfee, Director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, and Mitch Zeller, Director of FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products.
Both CDC and FDA have demonstrated they are intent on reducing the availability, quality, and use of e-cigarettes. They have consistently misled the American people about the risks associated with e-cigarette use, and we expect they will attempt to do the same for Congress.
If you have an address in one of the above states, WE NEED YOUR HELP!
 
We need you to (1) send an email through the new CQ Roll Call system (Part I), and (2) call your senator on the committee (Part II) using the phone numbers provided in Part III)
 
I.
CASAA has invested in CQ Roll Call, a program which will help connect our members easily and in a targeted fashion with their state and federal legislators on specifically crafted campaigns we design.
While CQ Roll Call isn’t quite ready for an official roll out, we have released a limited campaign for tomorrow’s Senate hearing.
THIS LINK will take you directly to the site for the Senate Hearing campaign. You’ll note that it asks for personal information. This is necessary for your email to be delivered to the appropriate recipients. When you enter your information, the program will automatically determine your senators. You will have two senators listed (in addition to President Obama), and you might want to UNCHECK the senator who is NOT on the Committee.
(If you allow the program to save your information, it should be automatically generated for you the next time you visit to participate in a campaign.)
The email for the campaign has a beginning and end that aren’t editable. The middle, however, is for you to add your story.
Remember . . . this is very much a beta campaign, so forgive (and report) any glitches and offer feedback.
Due to time constraints, we’re sending this email to the entire membership (with our apologies to those who do not live in one of the above states).  If you are from another state and you participate in the campaign, the email will simply go to your state senators (neither of whom are on the committee).
II. 
Please call your senator on the committee (contact information contained in Part III below) and use the following as a guide for talking points (essentially, the email you will send via CQ Roll Call):
I need your help in making sure that my interests as a consumer are represented at the May 15th, 2014 hearing regarding e-cigarettes before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. 

The only two witnesses who will be testifying at the hearing are Tim McAfee, Director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, and Mitch Zeller, Director of FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. CDC and FDA have made it clear that they are intent on reducing the availability, quality, and use of e-cigarettes. 

Please ask the CDC and FDA– 

Why are they supporting regulations that would completely destroy the diversity in the marketplace that make e-cigarettes such an incredibly effective alternative to smoking and hand over the remnants to the large tobacco companies? 

Why are they misleading the public about the potential hazards of e-cigarettes and, in so doing, actively discouraging smokers from using these potentially life-saving products? 

Why do they consider tobacco companies, industry, and e-cigarette opponents to be “stakeholders,” but completely ignore the voice of the single most important stakeholder–the consumers who use (or may use in the future) e-cigarettes as a low-risk alternative to smoking?
III.
Below are phone numbers for senators. Find yours and take a minute to make the call requested in Part II above.
Senator Tom Harkin, IA
Phone: 202-224-3254
Barbara Mikulski, MD
Ph. 244-4654
Pat Murray, WA
Ph. 202-224-2621
Bernard Sanders, VT
Ph. 202-224-5141
Robert P. Casey Jr., PA
Ph. 202-224-6324
Kay Hagan, NC
Ph. 202-224-6342
Al Franken, MN
Ph. 202-224-5641
Michael F. Bennet, CO
Ph. 202-224-5852
Sheldon Whitehouse, RI
Ph. 202-224-2921
Tammy Baldwin, WI
Ph. 202-224-5653
Christopher S. Murphy, CT
Ph. 202-224-4041
Elizabeth Warren, MA
Ph. 202-224-4543
Lamar Alexander, TN
Ph. 202-224-4944
Michael Enzi, WY
Ph. 202-224-3424
Richard Burr, NC
Ph. 202-224-3154
Johnny Isakson, GA
Ph. 202-224-3643
Rand Paul, KY
Ph. 202-224-4343
Orrin Hatch, UT
Ph. 202-224-5251
Pat Roberts, KS
Ph. 202-224-4774
Lisa Murkowski, AK
Ph. 202-224-6665
Mark Kirk, IL
Ph. 202-224-2854
Tim Scott, SC
Ph. 202-224-6121
Sincerely,
Julie Woessner, President
CASAA

CASAA Call to Action

CASAA has published their first Call To Action. Please take this one seriously and take the time to get involved.

Source Link: Read on CASAA’s website

CASAA

Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives association

Sunday, May 11, 2014

 

First Call to Action for FDA Proposed Regulations – Consumer Request for an Extension of Comment Period

On Thursday, May 8th, CASAA released the Overview of its Action Plan Regarding Proposed FDA Regulations.  This is the first of several Calls to Action anticipated in CASAA’s Action Plan.   (You will recall from the Action Plan that we are not going to publish our suggestions for substantive comments until a few weeks before the deadline, and we urge consumers to wait until then to offer substantive comment.)
FDA, which took more than three years to issue its 241-page Proposed Regulation (and accompanying 81-page regulatory impact analysis), has given us a mere 75 days to comment. While responding in that timeframe is challenging under any circumstances, the FDA has also posed, by our count, 99 requests for information about THR products (this does not include repeat questions or questions specifically pertaining to cigars). Given the length of time FDA has taken to release the proposed regulations, the massive amount of information FDA is requesting, the length of the document itself, and the devastating impact these regulations will have on a product that is estimated to be approximately 99% less hazardous than combustibles, the 75-day comment period is grossly inadequate.

The First Call to Action is for CONSUMERS to request a 105-day extension of the comment period, requesting a total of 180 days to make comments.  We understand that SFATA, AEMSA, and other industry groups will be providing similar guidance for vendors and manufacturers.

We have prepared a suggested letter–which we encourage you to edit to accurately reflect your views and circumstances–along with instructions on how to request the extension. (Please note that submitting this request will not prevent you from later offering a substantive comment, and should not affect your subsequent comment in any way.)

 

I.  

SUGGESTED LETTER REQUESTING EXTENSION 

YOU SHOULD EDIT AS APPROPRIATE

Dear Mr. Zeller:
I am writing as an individual consumer to request an extension of the comment period for the Food and Drug Administration’s (“FDA”) Proposed Rule Deeming Tobacco Products to be Subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as amended by the Family Smoking and Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (the “Proposed Rule”) published at 79 Fed. Reg. 23,142 and Federal Register No. 2014-09491. On behalf of myself, I am requesting that the comment period for the Proposed Rule be extended by the FDA for an additional 105 days, from its current 75-day period, to 180 days.
The Proposed Rule raises a number of significant issues and questions that are important and relevant to me, as a consumer of products that are proposed for regulation under the Proposed Rule. The Proposed Rule asks about a hundred different questions I might want to respond to. I want to provide my thoughts and comments on many of these issues, but my time to devote to researching and providing thoughtful comments on these important questions is limited. I have already spent many hours researching and dissecting these issues, but they take time. I know that the FDA took many years to even come up with the Proposed Rule, so I do not think it is at all unreasonable to allow the public a mere six months to comment on it. This is our only opportunity, as consumers, to provide our feedback.
I feel very strongly about e-cigarettes as an alternative to combustible cigarettes. Quite simply, I firmly believe that they saved my life. I wish to provide you with my personal story, as well as science- and evidence-based responses to your questions so that you can take my comment into account. I realize that the FDA has the authority under 21 CFR 10.40 to extend this time frame and that the FDA has exercised this authority on numerous occasions in the past. I would therefore ask that you do so here, so that all stakeholders have the opportunity to provide their comments on this proposed regulation.
I appreciate your consideration of my request and am happy to discuss this issue with you further.

INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO MAKE THE REQUEST

  1. Create a document with your comment.  You can use the above sample letter as a template and edit to make it your own.
  2. Access the comment form for the deeming regulation (FDA-2014-N-0189-0001):  FDA Comment Form
  3. Click in the Comment field and copy and paste your comment from Step 1 into the box.
  4. Click in the First Name field and type your first name.
  5. Click in the Last Name field and type your last name.
  6. If you wish to allow FDA to contact you, click to check the “I want to provide my contact information” box. Otherwise, leave this box unchecked. When you check this box, fields are displayed for you to enter your ZIP code and email address.
  7. Click to uncheck the box, “I am submitting on behalf of a third party.”
  8. Click the arrow next to the “Category” field to display a menu.
  9. Select a category from the menu.  We recommend “Individual Consumer” for individuals wishing to request an extension personally and not on behalf of any business or group.
    NOTE: FDA has traditionally taken the position that “Individual Consumer” comments will not be published on the Regulations.gov website due to privacy concerns.  There has been some criticism of this position, and FDA has indicated that it will be  publishing “Individual Consumer” comments on the website, although it intends to only publish the individual’s first name.  Any identifying information you provide in the Comment field will potentially be visible on the website, so we recommend that you NOT include your name, address, phone number, or email address in the Comment field.
  10. Click the Continue button.  After clicking on the Continue button, you will have an opportunity to review your statement and, if you wish, edit it.  (The Edit button is just to the right of the Submit Comment button in the lower right-hand side of the page.)
  11. On the Your Preview page, click to check the box “read and understand the statement above.”
  12. Click the Submit Comment button.
  13. After submitting your comment using the comment form, a confirmation page will appear with your Comment Tracking Number. We recommend that you print the page AND email this comment number as directed in Step 14 below.  (You may wish to copy the entire page into an email to yourself, which you can then forward as directed in Step 14 below.  Copying the entire page and emailing it to yourself will ensure that you have a copy of your comment and comment number.)
  14. Please send the comment number to casaa.fdacommentarchive@gmail.com. It is important that CASAA have a count of how many such requests have been made.  (You may, if you wish, include a copy of your comment, but that is not necessary because all we really need is the comment number.)

 

CASAA.ORG issues FDA Press Release

Please see the following press release from CASAA.org regarding the FDA’s proposed regulations of electronic cigarettes. Source

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, April 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its long-awaited draft regulations for electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and other low-risk alternatives to smoking. The regulations offer little benefit, according to The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), the leading advocate for the current and future consumers of low-risk alternatives to smoking. However, CASAA believes that should the FDA finalize the rule in its current form, it will inflict devastating harm on consumers.

“This is a classic case of government imposing a ‘solution’ and then looking for a problem,” said CASAA President Julie Woessner, J.D. “The regulations do nothing to address real concerns, and instead are a slow-motion ban of the high quality e-cigarettes that have helped so many smokers quit. The rules would mostly require busy-work filings that impose huge costs with little apparent benefit.”

The proposed regulations are based on a faulty understanding of the science, reports CASAA Scientific Director, Dr. Carl V. Phillips. “FDA has cherry-picked the available evidence,” says Phillips, “blindly accepting any assertion that favors aggressive regulation and ignoring the overwhelming evidence about the harms that these regulations would cause.”

Although the regulations do not openly ban the refillable devices that are preferred by experienced users, they impose a costly registration and approval process that would effectively eliminate them. Such registrations offer minimal benefits, but ensure that only a few large companies who mass-produce small and disposable products would be able to afford the necessary filings. Additionally, while the regulations do not immediately ban the variety of popular flavors for e-cigarette liquid, they signal an intention to do so in the future.

“Our research and others’ shows that higher-quality hardware and appealing flavors are important for smoking cessation,” says Phillips. “Many former smokers report that they were always tempted to go back to smoking while using the smaller devices with imitation tobacco flavoring, but they quit smoking for good when they found better hardware and flavors that no longer reminded them of smoking.”

It is estimated that as many as a million American smokers have quit or substantially reduced their smoking thanks to e-cigarettes, and many are already making plans for a black market if these regulations take effect. Those smokers who are using e-cigarettes in a transition stage could easily return to smoking–and future potential switchers may never be able to make the transition–if the restrictions on high-quality products are imposed. Woessner, who quit smoking thanks to e-cigarettes, fears such impacts. “If I had been limited to only those products that would exist under this regulation, I would probably still be smoking.”

CASAA is preparing a response that will point out the flaws in the proposed regulations and is organizing its members and hundreds of thousand of other e-cigarette users in an attempt to persuade FDA about the harms this regulation would cause. Should that fail, it plans to fight the regulations in court.

CASAA is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, public health, membership NGO. It does not represent the interests of industry. Donations are not tax-deductible as a charitable contribution.

Contact: Carl V Phillips, CASAA Scientific Director, 651-503-6746, cphillips@casaa.org.
________________________________________________________________________________

CASAA Members: Please email this press release to your local newspapers and news stations.

Lets get serious about this FDA Regulation

There are a lot of opinions flying around in regards to how we should deal with the FDA’s proposed regulation of electronic cigarettes and in my opinion the response from the community is pretty chaotic. There are some real questions about how to deal with electronic cigarettes and the FDA acknowledges these concerns by allowing for public comment on these proposed regulations. If we as a community are going to make a difference in how these regulations come into play then we need to use the system.

fdapetition

Shortly after the FDA released their proposal a petition sprang up on the whitehouse.gov website which in all honesty seemed like it really wouldn’t go much of anywhere. However there has been a lot of signatures on the petition and the FDA has officially responded which I believe is a great sign that the FDA is willing to talk and compromise on how they should regulate this industry.

Most people that I speak with agree that we do need some sort of regulation when it comes to electronic cigarettes and I agree that we need something to protect people from the possible use of harmful chemicals. The growth of electronic cigarettes has been firmly planted in a grass roots movement that rivals the introduction of most commercially marketed products that are pushed out to the public with millions of dollars in advertising. Due to the nature of this product and the grass roots growth that we have experienced the majority of boutique shops and vendors have developed E-Liquid and devices partly if not mostly as a labor of love out of the very idea that electronic cigarettes inherently spawned in all of our minds the first time we tried vaping… This is good enough to replace smoking and it will save peoples lives

As the market capitalization for electronic cigarettes increases and it becomes obvious that there is real profit potential in this product we are seeing companies that have little more than $profit$ motivating their entrance into the electronic cigarette industry. These companies NEED to be regulated because their motivation for existing in this market is based purely on the pursuit of profit. Companies that are completely focused on profit tend to play with chemical compounds in order to increase their bottom line as in the case of tobacco companies introducing additives that make cigarettes burn faster and without going out if left in an ashtray for a few minutes. Although historically the FDA hasn’t done a very good job with the tobacco industry (mostly due to lobbying and slick political maneuvering) they are the only device that we as American citizens have to protect the general public from corporations in a health and safety capacity.

The idea of the FDA is a good one but in recent history the over-regulation of certain industries has stifled innovation and reduced customer choice. In it’s current form the proposed regulation seems to play directly into big corporations hands with large application fees and resource requirements in order to get anything approved. Large corporations can easily absorb the cost of these fee’s but can your local mom and pop vapor shop? Honestly the higher the fee’s the better off large corporations will be in this industry because anyone without a large bankroll will go out of business which lowers the cost of customer acquisition for the few companies that can afford to pay these fee’s.

Perhaps some sort of E-Liquid consortium needs to be formed that applies to the FDA for the base chemical compositions and allows it’s members to manufacture under it’s application approval? I am not sure what the answer is but what I do know is that we need to start supplying possible solutions rather than complaining about pending regulation.

 

 

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