What will the e-cigs industry facing after the FDA’ s hit?

August 8th is a dark day for electronic cigarette wholesale when the FDA asserts its authority to treat e-cigarettes and vapor as tobacco products (along with pipe and hookah tobacco, cigars, nicotine gels and some dissolvables). It might be the beginning of the (legal) end — if our legal and legislative efforts all fail — but it’s just the beginning. There will be additional rules to follow. FDA Center for Tobacco Products chief Mitch Zeller is fond of saying that the deeming regs are “foundational.

It seems to be a tragedy for a heavy bounce on the industry while it is absolutely not because smokers’ health and need as long as the manufacturers will gather to rebound in the battle.The companies that together make up what America calls Big Tobacco are moving full steam ahead into the vapor space, and they know exactly how to handle the FDA. What Herzog refers to as the “cost and complexity of compliance” is exactly what Reynolds and Altria know best. It’s the pond they swim in.

Since the Tobacco Control Act passed in 2009, Reynolds and Altria have consolidated their power and learned to play expertly in the world of pharma-like tobacco regulations. The numerous competitors they had in 2009 are mostly gone now, bought out by the big boys or crushed by their inability to survive the “cost and complexity of compliance.”

They know the FDA and the FDA knows them. When they tell a Wells Fargo analyst that they’re negotiating terms of compliance with the FDA, they’re not blowing smoke. We’re fighting the FDA in court and trying to change the law — and we’re doing it without much money or political support — but the good old boys at Big Tobacco skip right past arguing right and wrong and start negotiating. Because they’re part of the same game, the same system, the same world of complex regulations and high-powered lawyers negotiating terms of compliance.

To keep any chunk of what we have now, we’re going to have to slog it out in court, recruit more smokers to vaping, and write letters and make calls to Congress. We’re going to have to raise money. We’re going to have to suspend our doubt, and trust that with enough passion and belief we can stop the regulatory steamroller coming our way.

It should make vapers mad that huge corporations — the very companies that have profited at the expense of millions of dead smokers — are now trying to speak as though they represent our interests. They don’t represent us.

They don’t represent our industry. And they sure don’t represent vapers — our concerns, our lives, our choice to not smoke. In past struggles when laws or regulations or ideas were forced upon an unrepresented group of stakeholders, protesters took up the cry, “Nothing about us without us!”

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tags:FDA, e-cigs wholesale, vaping, health,smokers

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