A recent report analyzing the regulatory climate under the Obama Administration shows that it is a lush and healthy environment… for bureaucrats.

A recent report by Sam Batkins of the American Action Forum brings the regulatory overreach of the Obama administration into focus. In nearly eight years, the Obama administration has issued 600 major regulations, which, again, are regulations with an annual economic impact of $100 million or more. Unfortunately, even with President Obama’s time in office slowly coming to a close, the number of major regulations issued on his watch may exceed 650.

“In more than six years in office, President Obama had imposed more regulations than President Bush did in eight years,” Batkins wrote. “Now, the administration has once again reached another record-breaking figure: 600 major regulations in roughly 7.5 years, which is 20 percent more than the previous president did in eight years.”

In fact, a recent set of regulations may be lethal to the emerging electronic cigarette business. Despite the fact there is no tobacco in e-cigarettes, a 2009 law giving the FDA power over the new product has resulted in rules that is already shuttering firms.

The consequences are already being felt at places like The Electric Cigarette Lounge in Sacramento, California, which shut its doors for good this week. The store’s owner told local TV station KCRA that the FDA’s rules snuffed out his business.

Andrew Osborne, the owner of Vapor Trail Electronics in Buffalo, New York, told News 4 that he expects the entire e-cigarette industry to collapse under the new federal rules.

“This is going to wipe out the e-cigarette business and leave Big Tobacco running the industry,” Chris Voudris, who owns four retail shops called Vapor Haus in Ohio, told the Dayton Daily News on Monday. “The cost of regulations will be too costly for small companies to compete.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy is weighing a ban on e-cigarettes that may also sink sales:

A string of incidents since last year has prompted Navy safety officials to recommend putting the e-smoking lamp out fleetwide.

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that heat up a nicotine liquid and deliver it to the user as a flavored vapor. In an Aug. 11 memo, the Naval Safety Center detailed growing safety concerns as exploding batteries in the devices have led to a dozen injuries since 2015.

When the lithium-ion batteries overheat, the memo says, the seal surrounding them can fail and turn an e-cigarette into a small bomb.

At least the Navy’s concern is based on real science, as demonstrated in this video featuring one man’s experience with an e-cigarette exploding in his pocket:

It may be that American e-cigarette makers might shift their focus more successfully to foreign markets. Philip Morris International reports that its e-cigarette has captured close to 3% of Japanese tobacco sales and the United Kingdom’s National Health Service announced that it has approved an e-cigarette to help people quit smoking.

If only our innovators could develop a product that would help bureaucrats quit creating business-crushing rules!


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