Regulations Close First High Profile Vape Company
With the implementation of the Tobacco Products Directive in the European Union comes just a taste of what might hit the vaping industry here in America, and it isn’t pretty.
In a sad bit of news, 8Bit has made the announcement that it will close this year after the TPD regulations are put into place. It is thought that this company is the first high-profile business to close after vaping regulations were passed in the European Union courts. The company is expected to make a full exit from the vape industry by the end of this summer.
As reported by Motherboard, 8Bit is the first high-profile casualty of the directive, which was announced back in 2014 and will be put into effect at the end of this week. While it is certainly not the first company to shutter due to the law’s implementation, it is the most recognized name to make the announcement so early.
8Bit is a custom e-liquid company that provides vapers with the chance to customize their own flavors for personal and public use. Customers can choose any number of the 108 flavors that the company has in stock and their nicotine level. They also have the option to sell their creations to others in the 8Bit community, making the company one of the most diverse companies to sell vape liquids on the market today.
The idea sounds amazing, but the TPD requires that each vape company must apply for a review of each individual product. This is just impossible for 8Bit, who cannot afford the product review costs, especially as their products are made to order. So the company has announced that they will no longer take custom orders and will be selling off select popular juices before bowing out of the vape business altogether.
In an email statement to Motherboard, co-founder Tom Johnson goes on to say that “I think we’re certainly one of the first [to close] as the laws that come in right now hit us more directly than others. Other shops are mainly limited to registering new products and things like that, but it isn’t financially viable for us to do that for every order we take.”
The Tobacco Products Directive, known in Europe as the TPD, has a lot in common with FDA regulations that are forthcoming in the United States, with one major distinction — the FDA goes further in regulating vape products, resulting in stricter protocols for all new and existing products on the market. Even with the TPD’s stipulations that any non-TPD compliant vape products be removed from shelves by May of next year, the FDA requires more wait times for new vape products, higher age requirements for purchasing of vape products and more.
The vape industry expects more businesses to shutter by the end of this year because most companies cannot afford the pre-review market process that is required here in America. And even going through the application process does not mean that all products will become TPD or FDA-compliant, which translates to less selection for consumers.
Vape advocates are using the fallout from the TPD to measure what the changes in the vape industry in America could be like, and it’s not looking good. However, there is a bright spot — it is still currently legal for vapers to buy and mix their own e-liquids. Companies like 8Bit are advocating that route for customers who are afraid of losing access to vaping altogether.
Until the FDA regulations are fully implemented, however, advocates both here and abroad have no idea how hard the vape industry will be hit. We will keep you updated as more news becomes available.