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The Future for Vape

We’ve seen the impact of 2016, what does 2017 have in-store?

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Stringent legislation is either in place or set for implementation on both sides of the Atlantic. Some people see Trump’s election as positive for combatting the excesses of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deeming regulations. British vapers shouldn’t hold their breath that Brexit will have a similar effect on the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).

PCTech magazine has listed out its five key business areas set to be big for 2017.  Alongside kitchen tech, virtual reality, wearable tech and anti-fraud software - electronic cigarettes are sitting pretty at number four. “The e-cig industry has been growing steadily over the last few years as more and more people all over the world quit smoking traditional, harmful cigarettes and opt for vaping instead,” the article says. “Go into just about any large city in the country, as well as many suburban areas, and you will find e-cig shops selling e-liquids and vaping devices to the public, so this is definitely an industry you can get into if you want to start generating profits.”

All sounds a rather positive outlook for Africa – but it ignores the legislation that’s coming. Back in July, South African Health Minister Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi said: “We are looking at it very carefully. In the last framework convention on tobacco control of the World Health Organisation, the decision was that we need to package ecigarettes as just any other type of cigarette.”

And, as if to illustrate precisely how ignorant Motsoaledi is on the matter, he added: “There is a trick here. Some ecigarettes have nicotine, which means they are just as bad as cigarettes, others don’t have nicotine. Now that is a trick by the industry, saying that governments must only deal with those that have nicotine, which means I as a minister must now spend money to find out which ones do not have nicotine.”

Europe’s TPD brought in restrictions on advertising as well as the impending 2ml tank and 10ml bottle limitations. While some businesses appear to be putting a great deal of time and money into meeting the requirements, it is also clear that others are ignoring them and hoping for Trading Standards to be lax about enforcement. Quite how much effort will be placed into clamping down on those who fail to conform is anybody’s guess – but it is certain to open up a disparity in pricing, as some manufacturers have to cover the costs of compliance.

Convenience Store News sees vape in 2017 through “cautiously positive” spectacles: “Convenience store retailers will welcome what comes out of a Republican Congress and this Republican president.”

Mainly, because it believes the retailers can influence Trump into acting on over-burdensome legislation: “Industry experts are advising retailers to keep active in the year ahead, encouraging them to get behind an emerging federal proposal to help ease the FDA deeming regulations — or more specifically, the Cole-Bishop Amendment to the House Agricultural Budget Bill, which would ease FDA application requirements for newly deemed products, such as electronic cigarettes.”

Professor Michael Siegel sees no real problem with this stance: “Trump does not seem timid about threatening to completely repeal other health statutes and regulations, so I don’t see any reason why he would be reluctant to do that with the FDA’s ill-advised e-cigarette regulations.”

It spells out a year in flux for vaping and vape businesses as the push goes on to achieve realistic and fair legislation.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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