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US: Cumbersome authorisation process will hurt vapers

  • Michael Landl

Today marks a dark day in the vaping calendar of the United States.

It’s the day of the deadline of an infamous authorisation process which will cause enormous damage to small US vaping businesses. All e-cigarettes and vape e-juice makers in the US had until today  to submit documentation in a cumbersome and extremely expensive authorisation process. The result will be that vapers in the United States will have very few options for e-cigarettes and vape juices in the remaining small number of vape shops in the country.

It is absolutely necessary and logical to have some form of standard in place to prevent bad products on the market which could affect the health of consumers. However, the estimated cost of going through this process is between $117,000 and $466,000. There are no exceptions.

Small, local vape manufacturers will be hit the hardest, not being able to afford the time and finances required to go through this gruelling approval process. This will, in turn, affect those selling the products, especially small local stores. While they provide an invaluable service to vaping communities around the US, it’s clear they will be faced with job losses or total closures.

Most vaping products use similar technologies and so a standardised process could have been offered by the FDA to accommodate smaller vape manufacturers which lack the time and money to comply with the complexities of the current process. Only larger companies are having the means to handle this process with teams of lawyers on their side to navigate the complex rules.

The end result will be that vapers are left with fewer choices or without stores to buy e-cigarettes from and many may return to smoking regular cigarettes, a far more dangerous activity.

I am disappointed by these developments in the United States and while this move will reverse years of progress and innovation in the vaping world and leave countless vapers wondering if they should go back to cigarettes, I hope that the relevant authorities will realise their mistakes and provide an alternative for smaller manufacturers.