August 8, 2016 marked a historic day for vapers and vape shops everywhere as the FDA cracked down on the selling of new and old vaping products. Under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act the FDA (US Food and Drug Association) will consider all vaping products to be “tobacco products.”
So what does this mean for vaping and vape shops?
The ruling is being described by George Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, as a “two-year countdown to FDA prohibition of 99.9% of vapor products on the market.” That seems to be pretty extreme, but he sticks to his claim that if the ruling is not overturned, the vaping industry will be almost nonexistent after two years.
To understand this claim, let’s analyze what exactly is covered under the ruling and how that will affect vaping shops everywhere:
Virtually Everything Is A Tobacco Product
This means that vaping products are now subject to regulation by the agency, including nicotine-free and synthetic nicotine products. This puts a limit on what products can and cannot be sold. Thus vape shops might not be able to sell your favorite product to you.
Additionally, if the product wasn’t commercially marketed on August 8 it cannot be introduced into the market. Modifications to existing products can neither occur.
Changes For Vape Shop Owners/Employees
There are multiple new storeowner regulations regarding age verification, free samples, labeling, and even helping customers with setup. You’ll want to inform yourself of all the current regulations in effect as there will be surely more to come. The next big date is December 31, 2016 when manufacturers (including importers) must register their establishment(s) and individual products in order to continue selling in the US.