This Controversial Vaping Regulation May Be Coming A Lot Sooner Than Anticipated
After a hectic week, it seems the controversial PMTA might take effect in as little as four months from now.
Vaping has continued to prove over the last decade that it’s a force to be reckoned with. In fact, there’s more evidence than ever it’s an incredible harm reduction and smoking cessation tool. Despite all this positive research, many people remain skeptical of the full impact of vaping, both on health and on society at large. The most common vaping regulations tend to be ones that seek to restrict access and usage heavily. But as bad as things have been in the past, they could be soon be getting a lot worse, a lot sooner, as experts warn the FDA may implement the controversial deeming rules in as little as four months.
The vaping community has blasted the news for being quite misguided. They argue jumping the gun on the PMTA will not only have a substantial negative impact on vapers, but it will also provide a distinct advantage to Big Tobacco in several ways. Meanwhile, vaping skeptics praise the decision for putting the safety of the public first, despite the clear advantage granted Big Tobacco. Regardless, it seems that the future of the vaping industry in America may be dramatically shifting a lot sooner than we previously thought.
The Latest Changes
If you’ve been involved with vaping for any time over the last couple of years, you’ve probably heard about the Pre-Market Tobacco Application (PMTA) otherwise known as the deeming rules. This law, first established back in 2016 under the Obama Administration, requires all vaping products in America to meet the same set of regulatory standards as Big Tobacco products before they can be legally sold. While this sounds fair enough, many experts argue it could cripple the independent vaping industry if implemented too quickly. The original deadline for vaping companies to comply was August of 2018, but one of the first things former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb did when he took office was push it back to 2022.
However, after mounting pressure and lawsuits earlier this year from organizations such as the American Pediatric Association, the FDA moved the deadline back a year to 2021. While this wasn’t ideal, it still allowed plenty of time for vapers and businesses to get things in order. Unfortunately, last month Judge Paul W. Grimm U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, ruled in favor of the APA, saying the FDA had acted unlawfully when they first delayed the PMTA. He even went as far as to say the delay was so severe he considers it “abdication of its statutory responsibilities,” and required the FDA to begin reviewing PMTA’s within 30 days and be fully operational in just four months.
A Helping Hand For Big Tobacco
While some people believe this update will help protect children, others aren’t so sure about the execution. In fact, Mitch Zeller, who is the Director of the Center for Tobacco Products, was quick to give his opinion on the new proposed deadline. Zeller, who is in charge of the FDA’s tobacco control efforts, foresees a lot of mistakes if the PMTA is forced through too quickly. He believes the 120-day deadline would lead to a series of significant regulatory and public health challenges, all in a state of chaos. “It could suddenly clear the market of thousands of e-cigarette products, raising the risk that some former smokers addicted to nicotine might migrate back to conventional cigarettes, and is likely to flood the Agency with thousands of low-quality applications that would strain Agency resources and significantly delay processing.”
Zeller believes the deadline should be no sooner than ten months from now to allow adequate time for both sides to get things in order. The advantage provided Big Tobacco is already visible, as of 401 PMTAs received, only four were passed, and they all belonged to Big Tobacco owned heat-not-burn devices. It’s clear Big Tobacco is uniquely positioned to handle this red tape, and if the PMTA is implemented too fast, it will allow Big Tobacco a golden opportunity to take control of the vaping industry.
This could be one of the most critical times for the vaping industry in America ever. With mounting pressure from the FDA, especially with the updated PMTA deadline, what we do now may be what we look back on for years to come. If we don’t fight for the right outcome, we may soon wake up in a world in which the vaping industry is no longer run by independent companies, but rather Big Tobacco. That’s why we must do everything we can right now to help secure and protect our vaping rights into the future.
What do you think about this new deadline? Does vaping need to be independent to thrive? What do you think is the most crucial thing about vaping? Let us know what you think down below, and don’t forget to check back here or on Facebook and Twitter for more news and articles like this.