Finally, the Food and Drug Administration released its first round of proposed e-cig regulations. Yesterday, a 241-page proposal was made available for download on the Federal Register website, and so far, there's no big cause for alarm. Right now, the FDA is only touching the surface and it will be several more months until the public knows how strong the regulations will be.
There are three main proposals. The first would classify e-cigs as a tobacco product, therefore giving the FDA authority to regulate the physical products, as well as the labeling. The second would ban the sale of e-cigs to minors. And the third would block e-cigs from being sold in vending machines.
Under this statute, new vendors would have to submit their product to the FDA for approval before it could go onto the market. This has some creators worried about destroying innovation, but it will not affect the current market. If the first proposal goes through, vape pen and juice makers will have two years to submit their products to the FDA.
Next up: a 75-day waiting period for public comment. The FDA acknowledges the widespread views on e-cigs and they "welcome any health or behavioral data" in regards to smoking cessation, e-cig addiction, how they interact with cigarettes, secondhand vapor, juice appealing to children, and more.
The nice thing is that the FDA appears to put themselves on the public's level in admitting that they know very little. Well, public commentary they will receive, and hopefully the number of intelligent contributions outweighs the halfwitted ones. We can dream, can't we?
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If you would like to leave a public comment, find instructions on the second page of the proposal.
[UPDATE: The FDA pushed back the public comment period by several weeks; now the public may comment until Aug. 8.]