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FDA’s New Rules Snuff Out E-cigarette Companies

FDA’s New Rules Snuff Out E-cigarette Companies

Team Obama’s regulatory climate is killing small businesses

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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Just one more example of the job killing Obama administration!

legacyrepublican | August 24, 2016 at 8:39 am

Regulations that suck and give an industry its last puff gives me the vapors.

Of course it would have been best if one never began the nasty habit of smoking in the first place…

(filed under personal responsibility)

    Milwaukee in reply to GrumpyOne. | August 24, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    “Of course it would have been best if one never began the nasty habit of smoking in the first place…”

    Of course. Now, if you would just sign some waivers, I’m quite sure we could dig into your life, finances, trash, correspondence, and what not, and find things you have either done, or failed to do, to lead a life without hurting yourself. By now everybody who takes up smoking knows something of the related health risks. Without a full psychological profile we might not know why they do that. However, tobacco effects different people different ways, and some find tobacco use comforting. Further, tobacco seems to damage different people in different ways, and not all are as damaged as some.

    Eat your broccoli.

    Myself, my soda consumption is pretty minimal, but that’s because it makes my face break out, not because I’m virtuous. I don’t smoke cigars because they make my tongue tingle, and I’m sure my childhood asthma would return with a vengeance if tried cigarettes. Red wine and dark chocolate are my favorite forms of self medication.

I wonder when was the last time an admin actually reduced the number of regulations.

    legacyrepublican in reply to Paul. | August 24, 2016 at 10:47 am

    That would be Jesus!

    He simplified the Ten Commandments to just two.

    Love God with everything you’ve got and love your neighbor as you love yourself.

    And boy did that improve prophets!

This same set of clawing regs will put several domestic cigar makers out of business, or push them to the edge.

The nanny-state doesn’t like smoking or anything like it.

    abenson229 in reply to Ragspierre. | August 24, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Some pipe tobacco companies as well, and it will hit tobacconists many of whom offer “house blends” for pipes…that will be a no-no now.

Only the Fed would declare a device that contains ZERO tobacco and in some cases ZERO nicotine a “tobacco product”.

So, just what is this commerce-crushing “rule”? All I see here is that it’s “new” … whatever it is.

    Apparently there a serious of rules regarding e-cigarettes; these rules include age requirements (same as for tobacco products) and the requirement that any future changes to existing or development of new products related to e-cigs must go through the FDA.

    While the age thing isn’t that objectionable on its face, it can only be enforced by the feds if the FDA “deems” products that don’t contain tobacco as “tobacco products”; this, of course, leads to stacks of other regulations and rules regarding the “new” “tobacco product.”

    One of the reasons e-cig businesses didn’t want to go for classification of their product as “nicotine replacement” was to avoid costly and burdensome regulation that makes it difficult for small businesses or start-ups to enter that market with their own nico-gum, patches, whatever.

    Here are a couple of links about the specifics of the new rules relating to e-cigs:

    From Reason article linked in this post:

    Manufacturers are not only prohibited from releasing new flavors, devices and products without the FDA’s consent, but they also may not make any modifications to existing products, says the American Vaping Association. Under the new rules, any variation of the nicotine level, bottle size, flavors or ingredients in a current product will be treated as a “new” product that will be illegal to sell without preapproval from the FDA.

    As Reason’s Jacob Sullum has written, this is essentially a slow-motion ban on many vaping products. The FDA’s application process will cost $1 million and a separate application will be required for each and every product. Smaller businesses unable to afford the costly application process will likely be driven out of business. The Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association, an e-cigarette industry group, says the new rules could wipe out 99 percent of all vaping products, and vape shops are worried too.

This regulational assault will result in more dead people. E-cigarettes are a terrific way for smokers to transfer away from tobacco products. You get your nicotine without inhaling burning plant matter. Nicotine itself isn’t that bad for you. So you avoid almost all of the negative health impact from smoking when you vape instead. But I guess the federal government knows best. Eric Garner was esentially killed by over regulating cigarette sales. Now there will be thousands if not millions of deaths on the hands of the government due to even more regulation. Chalk up another big win for the Democrats taking care of us poor unworthy slobs.

Meanwhile, the push to legalize recreational use of marijuana continues apace. The potheads don’t know what they’re getting into…they’ll be better off if it remains illegal.

I thought the whole point of e-cigs is that they were healthier than real cigarettes. Real cigarettes are smoking because there is a fire there, with ash and carbon and hot fumes and all sorts of bad things from the combustion.

Is there any reason not to e-smoke? Are there any significant health hazards? All I’m seeing against it is propaganda, and I can’t tell if there’s any actual science buried in there somewhere.

    Hexenjager in reply to Milhouse. | August 25, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    There *can* be.

    1) If you are using an unregulated battery (no voltage or overheating protection), the battery can overheat and explode.

    2) Also, if you are using too high of a voltage, you can start to burn the coil. If the coil gets too hot it can vaporize the fluid faster than the wick (usually cotton) can absorb more. This can then begin to form formaldehyde.

    #1 is typically only seen with cheap convenience store bought e-cigs or in more expensive mods where the user didn’t bother doing any research on the subject.

    To my knowledge, only once has #2 ever been demonstrated and that was someone who used a cheap tank turned up to 5v and had the temp turned up to 600 degrees.

I think the real reason to smash the e-cigarette industry is to prop up the tobacco companies and preserve the flow of money coming to the government under the tobacco settlement.

“which is 20 percent more than the previous president did in eight years”

Take note GWB fans. Obama is worse, but only by 20%.

GWB is a republican. In case you missed it.