Vaping News

Businesses Feel Impact of Legislation

Vape businesses are beginning to strain under the burden of restrictive laws.

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The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued further instructions to stores selling vape products (that the FDA deems to be tobacco products). The guidance documents relate to certain further prohibitions on free samples and on the application of certain tobacco regulations on Vape Shops. While such action is done to supposedly help the consumer, businesses are struggling to manage in the States and further afield.

The message placed online by Downtown Vaporz is one that will be mirrored by many others over the coming months: “To all my great customers: Sorry to inform everybody, but our time is coming to an end. On Saturday, January 28, we will be closing the doors. We got in this business to help people get off cigarettes. We want to thank all our customers for a great time and all of the friendships that have been created.”

Vape businesses in the UK will nod in understanding, the majority of shops are run by ex-smokers looking to spread the word about harm reduction and open up the possibility of a permanent escape from smoking. It’s a mission that is made all the harder when the likes of the FDA impose restrictions banning retailers from giving out free samples of any products, including e-cigarettes, vape pens, juice, coils, wire, wick material or anything else that could be used in the vape device.

We all understand the struggle to find mods and atomisers that worked well for us in the beginning – not to mention the hunt to find liquids that were pleasurable and rewarding. These are the things storeowners often helped with by providing free samples to try out. Now, classified as “tobacco products”, even a tuft of cotton wool can only be given to a customer as part of a sales transaction and in exchange for money.

Make a coil for a customer? Show them how to mix liquids? That would make you a “tobacco product manufacturer” in the eyes of the FDA. It’s an utter nonsense. The Pocono Record agrees: “They're overtaxed and being run out of business - and now those who sell alternative cigarettes are trying to do something about the state's 40 percent tax placed on Pennsylvania's Vapor businesses.”

While hopes were up for the Trump administration to do something about the layers of restrictive laws being put in place, it may well come too late for vape businesses in small town America.

“The gloves are off,” according to an interview with Mitch Zeller. He also believes the FDA are putting vaping and electronic cigarette industry out of business with strict new enforcement rules that amount to prohibition. And where the FDA aren’t acting, greedy legislators are pouncing with new taxes designed to fill holes in their budgets.

Vaping will certainly exist in 2018, but it’s likely to look substantially different to how it did last year.

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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