The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the authority to regulate the distribution, manufacture, and marketing of tobacco products to “protect public health” through the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 (FSPTCA). The FSPTCA has defined the term “tobacco product,” in part, as any product “made or derived from tobacco” that is not a “drug,” “device,” or combination product.
Between 2008 and 2010, the FDA detained and/or refused admission of electronic cigarettes. Companies sued the FDA to stop it from detaining their products and were upheld, though a decision with regard to e-cigarettes and other products “made or derived from tobacco” and the jurisdictional line that should be drawn between “tobacco products,” “drugs,” “devices” and combination products. The court held that products made or derived from tobacco can be regulated as “tobacco products” (including e-cigarettes) under the FDCA.
The FDA has issued a ruling that will “deem” (ie. consider) e-cigarettes and other new products not already specified in the FSPTCA to also be “tobacco products”. This would include liquid and devices, all of which would need to go through an expensive approval process estimated in the millions per device or liquid.
Casaa.org developed at this time to advocate for consumers of all tobacco harm reduction products especially e-cigarettes. The deeming regulations of the FDA rule are on course to require such extreme approval processes that few other than perhaps tobacco companies could afford the millions it would take to get a product available. Time frames are unsure at this point for the impact of these regulations however as they stand the impact will be devastating to vapers and the industry as a whole.
State, county and city ordinances are becoming an increasing threat as they ban, restrict and tax local products and businesses. Many groups and organizations have developed to advocate for vaping rights, some oriented on consumers, some on businesses and some unfortunately just for their own profit.
A group of US Congressional Representatives have offered HR2058 as a way for the FDA to be curbed from decimating the present industry though it still needs more support to be of any hope. If it were to pass then the industry has a viable chance of surviving in a similar capacity to what it presently is.