Time to fight back
On August 8th 2016, the Vaping industry will forever be changed. Some of the effects have been felt already. If you don’t want to feel the long term effects permanently you have to do your part to fight.
Doing your part is more than just waiting for “call to actions” or requests to make calls and send letters from advocacy groups. It’s more than raising funds for advocacy groups and following the trash talk bandwagon whenever an anti-Vaping organization spreads misinformation. It’s more than making social media posts, more than being a Vape celebrity or a vape thought leader. It really is about being a vaper and talking to friends and family and educating them.
I constantly see and hear people saying “now is the time to fight” and “they can’t get rid of an entire industry”. Truth is we failed to fight, we failed to focus on the fight against the deeming regs for many years. We knew they were coming, we even knew what might be included in the final version and we did very little to prevent it. Because we failed to fight as one, it is a very real possibility they could end and entire industry.
Here’s what happens August 8th:
- No new products can enter the market.
- The clock starts for companies to file PMTA’s for products on the market after February 2007. Companies have two years to file with no guarantee of approval. If no approval is gained that product must be removed from the market.
- Shops can no longer mix e-liquid, build coils, or replace atomizers or modify devices without registering with the FDA as a manufacturer. Registration deadline is Dec. 31st 2016 for manufacturers. If a shop decides to register as a manufacture they are subject to a significant amount of additional regulation that most will not be able to comply with or afford.
- No free samples. Period. No exceptions. The FDA requires sampling to have a fee; and that fee cannot be meaningless. It must also be a nominal fee that is equivalent to the value of the sample received. This applies to consumers, employees, and wholesale as well. Say goodbye to free giveaways and free in store sampling
- Advertisements must have a specific warning statement with special formatting requirements.
- Flavoring companies who wish to sell to the Vaping industry must disclose their formulations to the FDA and be considered a component of a tobacco product. While this requirement is not dictated by the FDA nor does t have a compliance date of August 8th; any flavoring company who is not going to comply will cause products with their flavoring to have to be removed from the market because changing a flavoring after August 8th would make it a new product and immediately prevent it from being on the market without FDA approval.
- We become censored. No longer can we claim that Vaping helps people quit smoking, we can no longer claim Vaping is safer than smoking or that it is tobacco harm reduction. Doing so could result in enforcement action by the FDA for a number of different violations such as misbranding or adulteration or false claims. Doing so without approval of a MRTP claim authorization is a huge mistake.
- All online shops must have true age verification.
There is a tremendous amount of additional provisions that affect us all; mainly through the rules applied to manufacturers (which I won’t get into on here) and importers. Not all of the requirements are fully known yet either.
At this point we aren’t fighting for our rights, we are fighting for survival. Plain and simple. Don’t think for one second that you can sneak around the FDA and continue going forward as if it was 3 months ago. The FDA has the manpower to enforce their rules through Health & Human Services and the state and county health departments as well as third parties contracted by them.
Don’t buy into the notion that the black market will thrive and participating in the black market will only taunt the FDA. The FDA uses the U.S. Marshals to enforce seizures and DOJ for criminal proceedings. Don’t make the mistake of thinking they won’t use them.
The FDA thought of almost everything. Any possible loopholes have been closed up or left open to interpretation by them, not us.
For our industry and community to survive, everyone is a piece of the puzzle, compliance is not a choice, fighting is no longer a choice, they are all requirements for everyone’s survival.
It’s time for our industry and community to join together, grow and mature, and adapt.
Don’t just sit back and wait, if you don’t fight, if you don’t educate, if you don’t stand up for what you believe in, it will all go away.
~Eddie Mock, UTSFA Social Media Manager