New FDA E-Cig Regulations Could Cripple Industry OK Business Owners Say

Thursday, May 5th 2016, 6:35 pm
By: Joseph Holloway

The Food and Drug Administration laid out its first set of rules that most electronic cigarettes makers will have to meet if they want to stay on the market.

One of the biggest new rules is that they will no longer be sold to anyone under the age of 18.

The agency will also monitor what goes into the vapors, how they're made and track the potential long-term impact on a person's health.

5/5/2016 Related Story: FDA Brings E-Cigs Under Federal Authority

The new rules go into effect in 90 days.

The FDA's new regulations have many e-cigarette users and business owners in Tulsa are worried about future access to the devices.

Jason Holt recently started using e-cigarettes as an alternative to smoking.

"I came here to just get the liquid that has no nicotine in it,” he said.

Vapor Kings owner, Rob Ragan was a smoker for 23 years before he started vaping to kick the habit. But, he said the FDA's new rules will cripple the industry.

"World College of Physicians in the United Kingdom recently just made a suggestion that people use electronic cigarettes to get away from the harms of tobacco. It's a very substantial statement," Ragan said.

E-cigarette business owners say they've been fighting the vape battle for years.

"We've been fighting federally, on a state level, on a city level," Ragan said. "FDA's stance is they're not banning the product, but they're making it very difficult for anybody to get approved."

Ragan is already in touch with industry professionals, trying to make sense of the new rules and how it affects vape stores and their customers.

"It's gonna take several months, I'm sure, to fully understand what's in the regulations. We have a conference call tomorrow morning with some industry experts that are gonna, kinda, give us some more details," he said.

But Holt said the e-cig is his best bet at kicking his smoking habit.

"It's not gonna stop the craving but it'll prevent me getting the cigarette," he said.

Tom Cole, 4th District Congressman, also disagrees with the FDA regulations, saying an amendment he proposed “provides the same framework for new tobacco products without needlessly subjecting small businesses to unnecessary regulations and without treating law abiding adults like naïve children."