One small step in the right direction for vapers...
Vapers are finally able to breath a cautious sigh of relief after the House Appropriations Committee voted yes 31-19 on an amendment that changes the grandfather date for items considered tobacco products. This amendment is part of the Agriculture and Rural Developments Appropriations Bill proposed in June 2014 which would provide government funding to the United States Department of Agriculture and related agencies.
In this bill there was a section which would force all tobacco products created after 2007 to go through extensive testing before ever being released to the public. While testing does sound like a good thing, this testing requirement is so extensive and expensive it would essentially put all e-liquid manufacturers out of business. The amendment which was introduced by Representative Tom Cole, a Republican from Oklahoma, would change the verbiage in this bill regarding vapor products in order to protect eliquid manufacturers.
While the vaping industry is currently facing deeming regulations by the FDA, this amendment would update the predicate date (the predicate date refers to products released before February 15, 2007) for new tobacco products.
It is important to note that this Amendment is NOT the same as HR 2058 and we must continue to urge our legislators to support this bill.
According to CASAA “Without a change in the February 2007 predicate date, more than 99% of vapor products currently on the market will be gone within two years. This is not hyperbole. The cost of obtaining pre-market approvals with the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products is intentionally prohibitive, and all indications are that there will be no significant exemptions made for vapor products."
Even though the fight is not over, this very important change of verbiage in the regulation could potentially save many companies from being forced out of business. The goal of this amendment is the same as the policy change found in the Cole Bill HR 2058 to move the predicate date to the effective date of the final regulation. Changing this date would essentially save all of the e-juice manufacturers (prior to this date) from being forced to pay for very expensive testing on each and every flavor they carry. As the bill stands currently, it would wipe out nearly all of the e-liquid manufacturers on the market because vaping was not around in 2007.
There is a lot of good language in this amendment that vapers can support. However, there are a few real concerns regarding some of the additional provisions in the amendment. We do not know the full impact this would have on the FDA’s deeming regulations on vapor products but we do hope that this is a step in the right direction. In the meantime we would like to encourage ALL vapers and supporters of vaping to petition their legislators to support HR 2058.
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