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FDA Regulations Could Wipe Out 99 Percent Of E-Cigarette Industry

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Guy Bentley Research Associate, Reason Foundation
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The e-cigarette industry could be all but wiped out thanks to regulations coming down the pipeline from the Food and Drug Administration.

Most damaging of all, e-cigarette makers will have to retroactively submit marketing applications for all their products, with the costs running into the millions.

Manufacturers of e-cigarettes could also be banned from advertising the reduced risk from substituting smoking for vaping unless they can convince the FDA otherwise.

In 2009, e-cigarettes came under the purview of the FDA and may face many of the restrictions placed on the tobacco industry, such as issuing health warnings and stopping sales to minors.

The e-cig industry is still relatively young, with the first e-cigarette invented in China in 2007. Despite there being close to 20 million Americans who have experimented with e-cigarettes, the FDA’s regulations would see the vast majority of producers bankrupted.

Speaking to The Hill, Jan Verleur, co-founder and CEO of VMR Products, said as much as 99 percent of the industry could be wiped out. “This makes it so any product released after the grandfather date would require premarket approval,” said Verleur.

He added that “the process could cost us half a million to million dollars,” per individual product. With more than 500 e-cigarette products, VMR Products would have to pay five times the company’s revenue.

His comments echo those of the president of the American Vaping Association Greg Conley who told the L.A. Times Monday that 99 percent of the small businesses in the industry could close their doors.

There is as of yet no fixed date for when the rules come into force. The FDA has said it will give companies two years to submit their applications and they will be able to sell the products under review during that time.

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