Regulations Could Force Vapers Back To Smoking
As vaping regulations are hammered out at the Food and Drug Administration, a recent poll of vapers states that nearly half of them will revert to smoking traditional cigarettes if the vaping industry disappears.
The poll, which was conducted in the middle of May by vape brand V2, took a survey of adult vapers from across the country to further understand how the deeming regulations will impact the consumers that the regulations could potentially hurt. Of all those polled, 49 percent said they would revert to smoking if they didn’t have access to vape products.
According to The Daily Caller, the poll was performed a few weeks after the May 5 announcement of the approaching deadline for the implementation of the regulations. Fears of how the rules could hurt small vaping businesses and the former traditional smokers they serve have led to the question of whether or not vapers would return to smoking.
The most damaging regulation, which most vapers are concerned about, is the one that requires that all vaping products put on the market after the predicate date of February 15, 2007, undergo a pre-market review process.
This process, known as the Pre-Market Tobacco Application Process, is required for every single product and is not a general vape company review. This means that every individual product must undergo the review, each of which costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and thousands of hours of paperwork.
Because the PTMAs are so expensive and time-consuming, many vape businesses have already begun warning their customers that they will shutter by summer of next year. And because nearly all vape products were introduced by small businesses after the predicate date set in 2007, the vaping product has well-founded fears that the entire industry will shutter by the end of 2017.
If the vaping industry disappears, vaping advocates fear that many people will return to smoking traditional cigarettes because most vapers were former smokers. And because tobacco products are not subjected to PTMAs, these products can flood the market at far cheaper prices than the vaping products that do make it through the process.
But regulations aren’t the enemy here, as most vapers are quick to point out. Vapers want regulations that keep them protected. It’s just the idea of having vaping products restricted in ways that don’t protect them, making it harder to keep vaping that bothers them.
Adam Kustin, the Vice President of Marketing at V2, stated at the release of the poll results that “[Vapers] fear is overregulation, which would stifle product access and innovation.”
Kustin goes on to state that the regulations don’t actually protect public health — as vaping products have been on the market for the past ten years and studies have continuously proved their efficacy— but actually helps tobacco companies, who aren’t subjected to the same stringent regulations. Tobacco companies also have more money, lending them to better position themselves in the market, an advantage that vaping products simply do not have.
There is a silver lining, however — vapers would not switch to traditional cigarettes, which is known to be more harmful to their health, should the vaping industry thrive in this country. What this poll shows is that vapers do have a hope that federal agencies like the FDA will hear their concerns and invite them into the conversation of how — and why — vaping products should be regulated.
For now, however, the vaping public should voice their thoughts on the regulations to their local, state, and federal elected politicians. The more voices that are added to the vaping industry conversation, the better choice that the vaping public will be heard.