Vaping Groups Sue the FDA

Posted 8th July 2016 by Dave Cross
A group of manufacturers and vendors including Vapor Shark, Cosmic Fog and Ruthless have decided that enough’s enough. Calling themselves “The Right to be Smoke-Free Coalition”, they are bringing the largest legal challenge ever faced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The Coalition filed a suit last Friday with the US District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of 11 plaintiffs, and is fully supported by every vape advocacy group in America. The action seeks to challenge sections of the deeming regulations and the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act over numerous counts. These include eight alleged violations of the Administrative Procedures Act and the First Amendment to the Constitution.

The Right to be Smoke-Free Coalition is: “a non-profit, industry-led trade association of e-vapour businesses dedicated to promoting the interests of the industry by advocating for reasonable and responsible laws and regulations, and fighting for the right of vapers to be smoke-free.”

The plaintiffs named in the court case include:

  • Right To Be Smoke Free Coalition
  • American E-Liquid Manufacturing Standards Association
  • American Vaping Association
  • Electronic Vaping Coalition of America
  • Georgia Smoke Free Association
  • Kentucky Vaping Retailers Association
  • Louisiana Vaping Association
  • Maryland Vape Professionals
  • Ohio Vapor Trade Association
  • New Jersey Vapor Retailers Coalition
  • Tennessee Smoke Free Association

The coalition believes the FDA’s regulations would drastically restrict new product development, especially for the independents without the resources possessed by Big Tobacco. Not just that, but they also believe the regulations are a “direct challenge to Congress’ wishes”.

“Plaintiffs are fully committed to the safety of electronic nicotine delivery systems, from manufacturing through distribution, and recognize the need for reasonable regulation at the federal level,” they state in their lawsuit. “FDA substantially overestimates the benefits of the deeming rule and underestimates its costs,” with its one-size fits all strategy.

While the FDA believes it will cost in the region of $500,000 (about £370,000) to get a new product through the regulatory process and to market, independent analysts contend it will be well over a million dollars for each new listing.

There are two additional cases brought by tobacco firms: Altria are fighting to retain the “Black & Mild” name for a cigar brand, and Miami’s Global Premium Cigars are objecting to a warning taking up 30% of the box.

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker