Vaping Saved By House Appropriations Committee
Vaping continues to live.
Earlier today, Convenience Store Decisions reported that the American House Appropriations Committee voted in favor of modernizing the predicated date for vapor products, which would have the majority of vaping companies go through the taxing Pre-Market Tobacco Application process, which costs, at minimum, $1 million per product.
Most vaping businesses do not have the money to go through the PMTA process. This was a thought not lost on anti-vaping advocates, who have argued to keep this date.
Had the predicated date stood, it would have banned 99 percent of the vaping products today. The date of February 15, 2007, will be amended to a more reasonable date following today’s vote on the FY 1017 Agriculture Appropriations bill.
The bipartisan amendment, which was created to stop the FDA from placing a near-blanket ban on all vape products, was introduced by Oklahoma Representative Tom Cole and Georgia Representative Sanford Bishop and passed with a 31-19 vote in favor of the amendment.
The amendment, however, was not just limited to modernizing the predicate date for vape products. The Cole-Bishop amendment also instructed the FDA to regulate current vape products, including enforcing retailer registration for youth access compliance checks, the banning of vaping products in self-service machines and dictate labeling requirements. The amendment also puts restrictions on when and how vape products can be advertised.
The Cole-Bishop amendment had detractors, and none more vocal than the Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who has long been a vocal opponent of vaping. Fortunately for vapers everywhere, the amendment passed with support from both sides of the aisle.
Supporters of the vaping industry celebrated with cautionary words, however, as the amendment has only passed in the House Appropriations Committee. It will need to go to the floor for a vote in both the House and the Senate before becoming law, and vaping advocates realize that.
“Vapor products provide a healthier alternative to tobacco cigarettes for adult consumers, and by voting to approve the Cole/Bishop amendment today, members of the committee have taken a necessary step to ensure that these life-changing products remain on the market,” stated Tony Abboud, the Vapor Technology Association’s national legislative director said when speaking with The Daily Caller.
“SFATA will continue to work hard behind the scenes to make sure the language on the predicate date is not changed and is passed by both the House and Senate.” This was the measured statement from the Smoke-Free Alternative Trade Association, who has long fought for the amendment to make it into the legislation.
For now, however, the vaping industry can breathe just a tiny bit easier. Though the bill has yet to make it through either chamber, there is hope that with more scientific studies and positive words from researchers and scientists, it will. Keep your fingers crossed.