August 8 prohibition & the FDA e-cig regulations: Vaping braces for ‘industry freeze’
For many in the vaping community, August 8, 2016 will be the date in which the newly announced FDA e-cig regulations switch from a mere threat to a startlingly true reality. Retailers and manufacturers of everything from e-liquid to vape mods and batteries have been preparing for this date since early May, but the majority of consumers will now begin to slowly feel the negative effects of what many say is federal oversight gone amuck.
Much has been said about the controversial February 15, 2007 predicate date that requires all vendors of e-cig and vaping products to submit a Pre-Market Tobacco Application (PMTA) on each product within the next two years. But August 8 is perhaps even more potentially devastating in the long term. According to the FDA e-cig regulations, this is the date when an industry freeze on all new products will go into effect.
(Related Article: NEW FDA E-CIG REGULATIONS AND THE MILLION-DOLLAR PMTA PROCESS)
What August 8 prohibition means to the average consumer
Consumers of e-cigs and vaping products have seen a remarkable amount of innovation in recent years. They have grown accustomed to an industry that is constantly breaking new ground, consistently inventing bigger and better products, and releasing them to the market at lightning speed. On August 8, all of this revolutionary progress will essentially stop in its tracks.
- Instead of being offered hundreds of new e-liquid blends each and every week, consumers will be forced to purchase only those brands originally released prior to August 8, unless the retailer chooses to pay the million-dollar PMTA fee.
- Instead of being offered a “new and improved” atomizer that resolves that frustrating leaking problem, consumers may have to do without because the vendor cannot afford to pay a second, million-dollar PMTA fee.
- Repairs of vaping and e-cig equipment via a firmware fix will no longer be readily available, unless the manufacturer chooses to pay the million-dollar PMTA fee.
- Retailers will no longer be giving away free samples of e-juices to their customers, which is part of the fun of heading down to the local vape shop.
- Vape shops will no longer be building new coils for their customers either. Every new build requires yet another payment of a million-dollar PMTA fee by the retailer.
These are just a few examples. The long-term effects are even more potentially devastating. After August 8, manufacturers like Kanger and JoyeTech will now be forced to undergo the costly and time-consuming PMTA process for each and every new product released to the market. A new PMTA will even be required for existing products with some new-fangled update or modification, like an improved firing button or a safer casing for an 18650 battery.
In short, innovation will stifle, large numbers of current products will become obsolete at a much faster pace, and new replacement products will take perhaps a year or more to become approved by the FDA, if at all, and released to the marketplace. Perhaps even more menacing, the entire vaping industry becomes far more dangerous as a result.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's and do not necessarily represent the viewpoints, policy or company position of Vapes.com, the rest of our staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.