In a blistering press release this Friday, America’s self-proclaimed, first-ever brick and mortar vape shop Totally Wicked announced that the company will be closing its doors in the U.S. permanently by the end of 2018. Blaming the harsh restrictions and extremely costly Pre-Market Tobacco Applications (PMTA) process of the new FDA deeming regulations, executives claim that they will be forced to close business unless Congress intervenes with new legislation in the very near future.
The Totally Wicked press release follows closely on the heels of the September 2016 announcement that pioneering e-cig company NJOY is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. NJOY is perhaps best known for its historic involvement in the 2010 lawsuit Sottera Inc. v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration which forced the FDA to regulate e-cigarettes as tobacco products rather than medical devices. Even though NJOY won the court case, the verdict may have accidentally opened the doors to the new and controversial FDA deeming regulations that are threatening to wipe out the entire U.S. vaping industry, perhaps starting with Totally Wicked.
(Related Article: NJOY FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY; BLAMES FDA DEEMING COSTS AND POOR SALES)
“In 2018 we will be forced to close our business, but we are not going away meekly. We fully intend to use what time we have left to benefit our customers and inform as many people as possible as to the scurrilous claims emanating from the FDA.”
Totally Wicked: ‘The FDA may want Americans to continue smoking; we do not.’
Managing Director Fraser Cropper goes on to say that Totally Wicked will continue to fight the War on Vaping until its very last days. The company also promises to provide employment to its staff for “as long as we possibly can.” Doors are expected to close permanently sometime during the summer of 2018 . Meanwhile, Totally Wicked lays blame for the company’s closure squarely on the shoulders of the FDA.
"We have a duty to be honest with our customers and our staff. It is currently impossible to see any way through the impasse the FDA is imposing on businesses like ours across the USA. While we will continue to support our customers and provide employment for our staff for as long as we possibly can, Totally Wicked in the USA will close its doors in the Summer of 2018, not because we want to, because the USA government is demanding that we do. Mealy mouthed platitudes will continue to be used to justify its actions and castigate businesses like ours and criticize our unwillingness to comply with ‘citizen protecting’ legislation, while the truth is denied an open sharing.”
The commentary also makes claims that the PMTA process is so overly expensive that only Big Tobacco can afford to pay the related fees and that the primary intention behind the new FDA deeming regulations is “simply to destroy the vaping industry.” By reclassifying vaping e-cigs and vaping technology as tobacco products, the U.S. Government has been grossly negligent in failing to capitalize on the live-saving benefits of a fledgling industry that is embraced rather than demonized by so many European nations. The full press release is posted on BusinessWire.
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