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We all have been on a journey with vaping. From the first time we had seen somebody smoking a cigalike, to our first strange puff. We tried everything to quit smoking: the patch, gum, pills, substitutions, mints, gum or a bag of dum-dums; nothing had worked. We tried our friends EVOD and heard how they haven't had a cigarette in a week! From a pack a day or more to none, it was almost easy. For some, it became a hobby, trying different e-liquids, different set ups, visiting our local Brick and Mortar store and attending events with the same enthusiasm reserved for ComicCon. Others used the device as a cessation tool and once they were done, put away the vape and the cigarette for good. There are even people who have made a career out of the burgeoning industry. From the beginning, vaping has been a DIY movement. The tools that were available to aid in the cessation of smoking cigarettes were ineffective, so to pay it forward we started making our own e-liquid, opening brick and mortar shops and spreading the news to our friends and family that just couldn't seem to kick the habit with traditional methods.
On August 8th the FDA's new ‘Deeming' regulations went into effect. Many vapers, manufacturers, and vendors had been advocating against these harmful measures. Essentially, the FDA has ruled that what they define as "ENDS," or, Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, as a Tobacco product and as such falls under the umbrella of their regulatory power. It's not necessarily that vaping advocates are against regulations, but the regulations that are being put into place are severely damaging to the market as we know it. Any product created after the predicate date of February 15th, 2007 will have to undergo stringent requirements to continue to be sold and it has killed the innovation of the market since no new devices, certain accessories and new e-liquids cannot be produced. The devices and e-liquid available nine years ago are archaic compared to the technology available today. It’s akin to forcing people to revert to the phone they had in 2007. This not only hurts current die-hard vapers but also severely limits the availability of e-cigarette alternatives to current smokers. As of August 8th, 2016, the industry is not allowed to speak on vaping's possible harm reduction for current cigarette users, but at the bottom of this page, you can find some nifty articles to sort that information out for yourself.
The amount of paperwork and money that is required to keep products on the market is practically impossible for small business owners to overcome, leaving the industry open only for top-dog companies…like our “friends” at Phillip Morris or R.J. Reynolds. This goes against the grass-roots movement that the industry is founded on. The strain on manufacturers will directly affect the current consumers on the market, increasing costs while decreasing availability and customization of their preferred method/flavor combination of e-liquid. What the FDA is claiming to be a regulatory aid for the benefit of public safety, has advocate groups speculating a resurgence in Big Tobacco. People utilizing vaporizers might return to cigarettes when their alternative is not as easy or convenient to obtain and other alternatives are not as effective. A manufacturer of e-liquid will have to get every single flavor combination, PG/VG ratio, and nicotine level registered and approved. Any difference in a mixture, change in suppliers, any difference at all, the product will be considered new to the market and will have to undergo another rigorous approval process. This limits the freedom that many users have enjoyed to customize their experience and slowly lower nicotine levels.
As advocates for the industry and freedom of choice for consumers and business owners alike, we need to be vigilant in assuring our rights. It may seem like there isn't much for you to do, but in the end, this is America and we fight long and hard enough eventually our rights can be realized. Along with other educational links, below is a link to CASAA.org where they have a convenient list of steps you can take to ensure your rights and thoughts as a consumer are heard.