August 8 deeming regulations begin; Undercover FDA agents to police retailers
As of August 8, 2016, the new FDA deeming regulations officially take effect, and a team of undercover FDA agents are hitting the streets to make sure that the laws are enforced. According to a recent report in U.S. News, there is a statute in the regulations that requires all retailers to ask for photo identification from customers who look younger than 27-years of age. If the salesperson does not ask for proper I.D., then the employee along with the shop owner may face legal ramifications.
Although this practice is very new to the vaping industry, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has employed this same secretive strategy for decades. One common tactic of the ATF is to send younger members of the force who are still under the age of 21 into a local restaurant or nightclub.
By dressing and acting in a manner that is more “adult,” they then attempt to trick unwitting bartenders and servers into selling them alcohol. If the employee falls for the bait, then both the establishment and the employee receive a fine or court summons on the spot, depending on the jurisdiction. In many cases, the employee must be immediately terminated.
The FDA might follow the lead of the ATF and use some of these same tactics, but they can also go a step farther. The undercover FDA agent might appear in the vape shop as an older, everyday vaper browsing through the e-juices and vapes mods. But secretly, they are watching to make sure that the cashiers at the sales counters aren’t forgetting to card their younger customers.
August 8 FDA deeming regulations: Free samples and coil rebuilds
Prohibiting the sale of e-cigs and vaping products to minors is only one of the new restrictions of the FDA deeming regulations. Vape shops can no longer provide free samples of e-liquids or help their customers with technological modifications. Traditionally, vape shop staff have been very helpful in educating newbies on the dangers of coil building, setting up and cleaning their devices properly, and troubleshooting some odd glitch. But after today, these friendly displays of excellent customer service are now officially illegal in the eyes of the FDA.
If any of these services are witnessed by an undercover FDA agent, then the vape shop along with the employee can expect at least a hefty fine. These same agents can issue citations for any offense of the FDA deeming regulations, including selling e-cigs and vaping supplies in public vending machines, misbranding or mislabeling e-cigs and vaping products, or selling a new product without an approved Pre-Market Tobacco Application (PMTA). August 8 has arrived, and the world of vaping will be forever changed.
(Related Article: ARE YOU READY FOR THE AUGUST 8 FDA DEEMING REGULATIONS?)
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