We interrupt our regularly scheduled e-Cigarette News Roundup to bring you this breaking news. I've always wanted to say that. But now that I have said it, I wish I hadn't. Read on to find out what the FDA is up to.
In what may be it's push into the endgame for e-Cigarettes, the FDA announced public comments will come to a close on December 8th for “Non-Face-to-Face Sale and Distribution of Tobacco Products and Advertising, Promotion, and Marketing of Tobacco Products.” The FDA will be considering in the very near future what actions to take to regulate how tobacco products (including new-fangled devices like e-cigarettes) and how they are marketed.
SUMMARY: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is issuing this advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) to obtain information related to the regulation of non-face-to-face sale and distribution of tobacco products and the advertising, promotion, and marketing of tobacco products. FDA is taking this action as part of its implementation of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act). FDA is requesting comments, data, research, or other information related to non-face-to-face sale and distribution of tobacco products; the advertising, promotion, and marketing of such products; and the advertising of tobacco products via the Internet, e-mail, direct mail, telephone, smart phones, and other communication technologies that can be directed to specific recipients.
As you're probably aware since you're here online, most good e-cigarettes come from the Internet, not local merchants. Of course, some of you are lucky and you live near a real bricks-and-mortar e-cigarete shop. Most of us don't, so our bricks and mortar choices are limited to gas stations and the sleazy guy with the cart in the mall.
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Depending on how the FDA regulates e-cigarettes and other tobacco products, the offline versions may become the only things we can get. This action could also halt online advertisement, which would directly impact this site and some of the other blogs you probably know and love. Now, I'm not saying I'll pull up stakes if I can't recoup some of my costs via ads, but I honestly don't know what would happen if the industry were to suddenly become regulated.
I do know a lot of vendors I work with on a daily basis would be driven out of business because they run razor thin margins as it is. The expense of dealing with regulations or having to rely on foot traffic would kill most of the market nearly overnight.
If you don't want this to happen, submit a comment on the regulations.gov site. Be sure to be civil and state something meaningful like how vaping has changed your life, or how you feel this would impact small businesses and so forth. I have no idea if the comments will make an impact, or if they'll pull a Boston and ignore what a majority of people say.
The important part is you comment on this. I'll post any follow-ups in subsequent news updates or individual articles of course. But when it comes down to it, if we do nothing and they take away our ability to vape, we have nobody to blame but ourselves.
Finally, I'd love to hear your insights as well. The comments await below!