E-cigarette producers failed to obtain a grandfather clause in the $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill that could have exempted many vaping products from further FDA regulations.
The exemption which was one of several riders that were being considered for the 2016 spending bill, would have exempted e-cig producers from new FDA rules, if they had been on the market before the rules came in.
FDA released proposed rules and regulations on e-cigs in 2014 but has not finalized them yet. There has been a great deal of push back from e-cig supporters and manufacturers, as well as critics of the products.
The proposed regulations from FDA on vaping products would mandate that any e-cig made after Feb. 2007 obtain agency approval before they can be marketed to the American public.
Final FDA vaping regulations are being reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget, and will be released sometime in 2016.
The American Vaping Association, one of the leading pro-vaping groups, stated that the decision to not give the exemption to e-cigarette manufacturers is effectively a prohibition of the devices. The group also argues that public health is going to be harmed because smokers will turn back to regular cigarettes when vaping products are effectively banned by the new regulations.
The President of the American Vaping Association stated that the deal essentially protects tobacco and cigarette interests. He noted that Congress has blown a great chance to benefit public health and small business around the US with pro-vaping regulations.
FDA’s draft e-cigarette rules state that e-cigs would not be available for sale to anyone under 18, and makers would have to have health warning that state that nicotine is an addictive substance. All vaping product makers also would have to state all ingredients in their products to FDA and would not be able to claim that their products are safer than tobacco. That way, people would know better what they are getting when they buy e-cigarettes.
E-cig makers and supporters argue that vaping is far less harmful than using cigarettes, but electronic cigarettes are being viewed more skeptically by regulatory authorities as they have gotten more popular. Adolescents like to buy e-cigarettes, and government agencies are concerned about the products’ long term health effects.