Vape shop says new FDA “e-cigarette” regulations “cripples” business

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Sweeping new rules from the FDA are placing heavy restrictions on e-cigarettes. They will require all e-cig products made after 2007 to undergo review and approval. That is virtually all of them, according to an Upstate vape shop. They say the costs of testing every product could kill business.

At Carolina Vapor Mill, more than 500 products would be up for testing. With a minimum cost of $1 million dollars and up to $10 million per test review, Business Development Manager Lane Hughey says he fears what could happen to this small business community in the Upstate.

“Small businesses are going to be crippled, not be able to pay for this process,” said Hughey. “The FDA is requiring that you have premarket approval. It’s a process that you go through to have these devices, liquids and everything approved by the FDA.”

If they can’t cough up millions for testing, Hughey said the only products they can eventually sell date back to 2007.

“There are over 15,000 estimated vape shops in the country, all with their own unique product. It is mind blowing the amount of money that it would cost this industry to do that,” he said.

He said their product has made 9 years of strides in safety and satisfaction.

“If this goes through, we lose all that innovation. We go back to the Stone Age, back to a, honestly, a more dangerous product,” said Hughey.

The FDA says the regulations, which have been in the works since 2014, help tame what they called a “wild wild west” of unregulated industry and make it harder for minors to get their hands on addictive products.

Some lawmakers agree that testing all products made after 2007 is disastrous, prompting a bill in congress to move that date up.

If not, vape shops like Carolina Vapor Mill could be regulated like a major tobacco producer.

“The way we are going to be regulated now is the same as Phillip Morris and It is absurd. It’s absurd,” said Hughey.

Hughey says even the batteries that power their devices, which are the same as ones that power flashlights, would be considered a tobacco product under these new rules.

They are hoping to find common ground.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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