Today, the American Vaping Association, a leading advocate for the benefits of vapor products such as electronic cigarettes, praised the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Related Agencies for its approval of a spending bill that would prevent the FDA from regulating the vast majority of vapor products out of existence.
If enacted, the bill would make clear that the FDA Center for Tobacco products cannot require vapor products already on the market to go through a lengthy and potentially multimillion dollar Premarket Tobacco Review application process. This bill would not impact the FDA’s ability to regulate these products, including setting rigorous product and manufacturing standards.
Since the FDA regulation was proposed last April, industry and public health advocates have warned that the FDA’s insistence on retroactively applying the Premarket Tobacco Review requirements to already existing products would lead to over 99% of vapor products being banned. This would happen for no reason other than the inability of nearly all product manufacturers — other than those associated with large tobacco companies — to bear the associated costs.
In November, House leadership signaled that Congress could act on this issue if the FDA failed to do so. Speaker Rep. John Boehner, Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, and House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Fred Upton sent a joint letter to the Secretary of Health & Human Services requesting that this change be implemented in the regulation.
“Without action by Congress, the FDA’s proposed regulations threaten to ban 99%-plus of vapor products currently available on the market. This would be a disaster not only for thousands of small businesses, but also public health.
“This proposal does not remove the FDA’s ability to regulate vapor products. The FDA will retain the authority to immediately move forward with science-based product standards, disclosure requirements, and many other measures. Anyone who claims that this bill would somehow render the FDA toothless is either not familiar with the law or not being forthright.
“We are thrilled to see movement on this issue. Clear evidence is emerging from around the world that vapor products are helping smokers quit. It is unconscionable to effectively ban the sale of tens of thousands of vapor products while leaving combustible cigarettes freely available.”