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Vapers Win Big: House Committee Passes Amendment To Save E-Cigarettes

The House Appropriations Committee passed an amendment Tuesday that could save 99 percent of e-cigarette products from prohibition.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is set to announce its so-called “deeming” regs, which would require all e-cigarette products that came on the market after February 15, 2007 (predicate date), to go through the onerous Pre-Market Tobacco Application (PMTA) process — which could cost millions of dollars per product.

Since almost all vapor products on the market were released after February 2007, hardly any would avoid a PMTA and almost no businesses, with the exception of major tobacco companies, would be able to bear the regulatory burden.

Only one product in the last six years has passed the PMTA, according to House Appropriations chairman Rep. Robert Aderholt. (RELATED: One Imminent FDA Regulation Could Wipe Out 10 Years Of E-Cigarette Innovation)

“The agency’s economic analysis of the rule predicts that the cost of such approvals will be so high that approximately 99 percent of products on the market will not even be put through the application process,” says the American Vaping Association (AVA).

But the House Appropriations Committee delivered a much-needed win for vapers by passing an amendment which would change the predicate date for vapor products.

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Introduced by GOP Rep. Tom Cole and Democrat Rep. Sanford Bishop, the amendment passed by 31-19 despite the protestations of Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

“Unlike the US Food and Drug Administration, which is rumored to issue one-size-fits-all regulation of e-cigarettes as tobacco products as early as this month, the majority of members of the Appropriations Committee clearly understand that vapor products represent the first game-changing technology in the ongoing campaign to reduce cigarette smoking,” said Tony Abboud, the Vapor Technology Association’s national legislative director.

“Vapor products provide a healthier alternative to tobacco cigarettes for adult consumers, and by voting to approve the Cole/Bishop amendment today, members of the committee have taken a necessary step to ensure that these life-changing products remain on the market,” Abboud said.

“We are pleased to see the House Appropriations Committee has adopted an amendment to the agriculture bill that would change the predicate date for vapor products under FDA deeming regulations,” said the Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association (SFATA).

“SFATA will continue to work hard behind the scenes to make sure the language on the predicate date is not changed and is passed by both the House and Senate.”

The committee’s decision doesn’t mean the amendment is law. It will now have the chance to go forward as part of an appropriations bill and be voted on in the House of Representatives.

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