Makers Of E-Cigarettes And Pricey Cigars Want To Avoid FDA Approval And Regulation

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Until earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration didn’t have authority to regulate some new or unusual smokeable products that have been growing in popularity, like premium cigars, hookah tobacco, vaping products, and e-cigarettes. However, the industries behind these products are fighting regulation with lobbyists, hoping to do away with the new rule.

While the lobbying effort is self-serving for Big and Medium Tobacco, the New York Times reports, it also can wrap itself in two noble-seeming goals. Lobbyists argue that they’re protecting current tobacco smokers who want to quit using e-cigarettes or vaping products with or without nicotine, and protecting smaller businesses that may not survive if they must wait for FDA approval before putting new products on the market.

States generally already ban the sale of smokeable products to minors, but introducing FDA approval and regulation in general is something that the industry is fighting. Tobacco company Altria, for example, helpfully drafted some legislation that would change the new rule so that products already on the market now wouldn’t need to be retroactively approved to stay on the market.

Companies have two years to submit products put on the market after Feb. 15, 2007 for FDA approval, while products can remain on the market for another year to wait for approval.

This will put smaller companies and those that don’t already sell FDA-regulated products at a disadvantage, since they will have to submit every flavor and variation separately before putting it on the market.

Tobacco Industry Works to Block Rules on E-Cigarettes [New York Times]
Tobacco Watchdog Expands Its Reach: A Primer [New York Times]