eLiquid Flavors in Jeopardy
It wasn’t so long ago that we all thought 2018 might be the end of vaping as we knew it. However, August 8th came and went, and here we are. The FDA’s stair-step approach to regulation bought us some time. However, the fight isn’t over.
This week, the FDA announced its advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) for potential liquid flavor regulation. This is the first step in the regulatory process. During this time, they are seeking public comments on this matter.
Obviously, this is an important issue for all vapors. If the FDA were to take the position to only allow tobacco, and menthol flavors, it would not only be a huge hit to the industry as a whole; but might affect the decision of people to even try to stop smoking.
So why the push to regulate flavors anyway?
The FDA gets its regulatory powers from Congress. That’s important because there has been a lot of concern in Congress about the increase in vaping among youth. Now, one could make the argument that the increase in vaping among youth should be expected. If for instance, it were to coincide with a decrease in traditional combustible tobacco. Couple that with the fact that the act of measuring the increase of something that didn’t exist a decade ago should be expected to have a sharp increase. That’s a topic for another time though.
The FDA is taking this concern seriously, and so should we. I personally feel like there is going to be some sort of regulation on flavors at some point. Therefore it is important that we all submit comments to the FDA on the importance of flavors in eliquid for our community. They need to understand that it’s not only important for current vapers, but for the success of those trying to make the big switch.
So why are flavors so important you might ask?
For one thing, those trying to switch often times want to get away from the taste of tobacco. They are trying to quit smoking after all. They want to cut ties with both the smell and taste of combustible cigarettes. Flavors offer a whole world of possibilities and reasons to stick with it. If you get tired of a flavor, there are plenty of other choices to keep you on the path so to speak. The fear would be by limiting the choices to tobacco and menthol many may not make the decision to try vaping.
Now let’s talk about the impact to the industry as a whole. A decrease of that magnitude in flavor options and the drop off in sales would most likely lead to a mass extinction of many if not most “Mom & Pop”, or “Main Street” shops. Secondly, if you know vapers, you know flavors are simply just too important. The apartment and garage mixing would skyrocket! I’m not just talking about the DIY crowd. The entrepreneurial capitalistic spirit of many would kick in, and juice made in non-food-safe conditions would be finding its way into many hands by the gallon.
Obviously, that leads to a lot of concerns and is something we want to try and avoid. I’m all for a tempered common sense regulation, that takes aim at company adverts, packaging, and cleanliness. However, given the comments by many congressmen, I fear a “tobacco flavor only” world where vaping is simply retaken by Big Tobacco and combustible cigarettes.
Thus, I am asking that we all take the time to visit the link below and leave a comment on why flavors are so important to us all. They will read them all, and it does make a positive impact. Thanks for taking the time!