seems to be the only option available as vaping companies sued the U.S. government last Wednesday to delay an upcoming review of thousands of eLiquid and vape products on the market.
The legal challenge by the Vapor Technology Association is the latest hurdle in the Food and Drug Administration’s years-long effort to actually regulate the growing vaping industry, which includes makers and retailers of e-cigarette devices and eLiquids.
The vaping group argued that the latest deadline of next May to submit products for review will wipe out nearly everyone of the smaller companies. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Kentucky.
The 2009 law that gave the FDA power over the traditional tobacco products did not mention e-cigarettes. And it wasn’t until 2016 that the agency expanded its own regulations to include the devices and products. Since then however FDA regulators have repeatedly pushed back the timeline, at one point until 2022, to begin reviewing the legions of vaping products that have come to market.
Frustrated by the delays, anti-tobacco groups including the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids sued the FDA to speed up the process. In June, a federal judge sided with the groups and set a deadline of next May for all companies to submit their products for federal review. The FDA did not appeal the decision.
The vape group’s lawsuit said the FDA has now set five entirely different deadlines. “It is time for FDA to stop moving the goalposts and changing the rules in the middle of the game to the detriment of our manufacturers and small businesses,” Tony Abboud, the group’s executive director, said in a statement.
Vaping executives have long said that most companies will not be able to afford to conduct large, expensive studies needed for FDA review, and because that's how regulations work only products that meet FDA standards would be permitted to be sold. The FDA of course declined to comment on the lawsuit.
What do you think about this law suit? Is it just another step in a long line of iterative steps that will eventually get this industry above board? Will suing do anything? Would doing nothing be better or more or less effective?