There is a lot of talk going on south of the border about the FDA’s pending changes to regulate the electronic cigarette industry. As you can imagine a good majority of the vaping community are upset, frustrated, and feel helpless. As Canadians, we have no say at all – all we can do is watch, listen, and wait to see what the outcome is.
This is nothing new, the FDA has been the largest propagator of bad information and half-truths, even when science proves them wrong! We have already seen, unfortunately, many state wide bands, city bands, and stricter rules and regulations in places like airports. We, and again I speak as a Canadian, have also felt the crunch with many vendors not shipping to Canada anymore, or juice confiscated by Canadian customs.
So, what are these pending regulations everyone is talking about? That’s the problem, no one knows! The FDA is being very secretive about everything. The FDA states they intend to issue a “deeming regulation” during summer 2012 to cover other tobacco products.
A “deeming regulation”, anyone else confused? Here’s a bit of background from the section of the solicitation announcement, the FDA states as follows:
“On June 22, 2009, the President signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act) into law (Public Law 111-31). The Tobacco Control Act amended the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (Act) and granted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to regulate the manufacture, marketing, and distribution of tobacco products. Currently, FDA regulates the following tobacco products: cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco. See Section 901(b) of the Act.
The Act allows FDA to issue regulations asserting jurisdiction over other tobacco products, such as cigars, cigarillos, e-cigarettes, and hookahs, among others. FDA expects to issue a deeming regulation in summer 2012 to cover other tobacco products.”
A deeming regulation is a proposed regulation that would include products meeting the definition of a “tobacco product” under the Tobacco Control Act to be subject to the FDA’s jurisdiction. The Tobacco Control Act defines a “tobacco product” as meaning “any product made or derived from tobacco that is intended for human consumption, including any component, part, or accessory of a tobacco product (except for raw materials other than tobacco used in manufacturing a component, part, or accessory of a tobacco product).”
This means the FDA plans to issue sometime this summer a proposed regulation covering other tobacco products such as cigars, cigarillos, e-cigarettes, hookahs and possibly other tobacco products. The extent of the proposed regulation is not currently known, but the law requires it be published in the Federal Register when released by the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products.
The vaping community is still in dark, we have no clue what the future holds. We can make an educated guess and assume the following will most likely be a part of the outcome:
- Taxes on all ecig related products
- Vendors may be required to submit product approval
- No sales of nicotine based products online
- No shipping of nicotine based products within the us or internationally
Many vapers are talking about stocking up on suplies like atties, cartos, bats, etc in fear of not being able to purchase them anymore online or be heavily taxed. I’m not sure that will be the case for gear, but probably for juice. We will just have to wait and see.
Similar to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act issued in 2009 in the Unites States, Health Canada issued it’s own advisory in 2009:
Health Canada is advising Canadians not to purchase or use electronic smoking products, as these products may pose health risks and have not been fully evaluated for safety, quality and efficacy by Health Canada.
These products come as electronic cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos and pipes, as well as cartridges of nicotine solutions and related products. These products fall within the scope of the Food and Drugs Act, and under the Act, require market authorization before they can be imported, advertised or sold. The sale of these health products is currently not compliant with the Food and Drugs Act since no electronic smoking products have been granted a market authorization in Canada.
It was this advisory that forced many Canadian vendors to shut their businesses down and was the guiding force behind amendments to Canadian Customs rules and regulations on importing nicotine based products.
A lot of Canadian vendors made the decision to remove nicotine from their ejuice so that they could continue to sell online, and in some provinces we are taxed on purchase of ecig products.
Tobacco related products is one thing, batteries on the hand … I just recently found out, thanks to GuideToVaping.com, that he new USPS rules on international shipping of lithium batteries went into effect as of May 16th. There are 2 rules in particular that stand out:
- Mailing batteries internationally, or to and from APO, FPO, or DPO destinations is prohibited regardless of mail class.
- The mailpiece must not contain more than three batteries (domestically).
Now we can’t even get batteries in Canada! What amazes me about the American government and agencies like the FDA and USPS, and I apologize to my American friends when I say, is how greedy they are! They rather see millions of people die from tobacco related dieses like cancer just so that they can “regulate” the industry, which basically means shut down the competition, monopolize, and make a profit.
If you keep killing your customers there will be no profit!
I could go on about politics all day, but the point of this post is to educate Canadians. We need to be strong now and support our Canadian vendors. I’m thankful for organizations like the ECTA (the Electronic Cigarette Trade Association of Canada), hopefully they will be able to fight the good fight when Health Canada follows the FDA’s “Pending Regulations”. I hope our Canadian vendors are ready!