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FDA E-Cigarette Regs Could Push Half Of Vapers Back To Smoking

Forty-nine percent of vapers say they would go back to smoking regular cigarettes if Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules crush the e-cigarette industry.

That’s according to leading e-cigarette brand V2, which surveyed adult vapers across the country between May 16-20. The announcement of FDA’s “deeming” regulations May 5 sparked fears across the vaping community that many of the products they use could be taken off the market.

The part of the FDA’s deeming regulations that most concerns the e-cigarette industry is the so-called “predicate date” of Feb. 17, 2007. All vapor products that came on the market after this date, which is almost all of them, will have to go through the notoriously onerous and expensive Pre-Market Tobacco Application process (PMTA).

PMTAs can cost millions of dollars per product and around 1,700 hours of paperwork. Industry experts estimate 99 percent of products on the market won’t even be put through this process and will be taken off the market within two years. (RELATED: GOP Senator Challenges FDA On Crushing E-Cig Regulations)

Vaping advocates fear FDA’s regulations would mean the effective prohibition of e-cigarettes. In the event of e-cigarettes being taken off the market entirely, 49 percent said they would switch to smoking tobacco cigarettes. V2’s poll found almost three-quarters of vapers agreed e-cigarettes should be regulated in some form.

“Vapers want common sense regulations to ensure consumer protection and product standards,” said Adam Kustin, vice president of marketing at V2. “But what they fear is overregulation, which would stifle product access and innovation.”

Kustin said FDA’s rules wouldn’t protect public health but would entrench the advantage of tobacco companies. “Big Tobacco companies, with their virtually unlimited resources, benefit tremendously from an onerous and costly application process.” (RELATED: Wells Fargo: FDA’s E-Cigarette Regulations Are Good News For Big Tobacco)

“While our company is also well positioned, the smaller players in our category aren’t as fortunate. Some simply won’t be able to bring their products to market, while others will be forced to raise prices, further diminishing their competitiveness. Lastly, it’s important to recognize that Big Tobacco is under no obligation to submit any products for approval.”

When the poll asked vapers what they would do if e-cigarettes and e-liquid became harder to buy or more expensive, 34 percent said they would vape less, and an additional 18 percent said they would vape less and smoke more cigarettes.

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