Since its inception, the vaping industry has grown at an astounding rate. Looking back to the first crude electronic cigarettes merely acting as imitations of traditional cigarettes, it’s pretty amazing to see the huge variety of advanced technologies that go into vaping today. From the insane flavor combinations to the extremely powerful MODs, every part of the vaping industry expanded and became more advanced.
However, with that expansion came increased scrutiny. The tobacco industry was watching the vaping industry closely, and as vaping grew more popular the tobacco companies feared they would lose customers to vaping. The FDA also feared the increase in this new market for a different reason. They were worried that uninitiated teenagers would begin using nicotine in a way that was not yet fully regulated. With pressure from the tobacco industry to regulate the vaping industry and the government’s own wish to make sure everything was fully regulated, the FDA swiftly passed a set of rules to cover every aspect of the vaping world.
Enter the FDA
In essence, the FDA stated that on August 8, 2018, e-cigarettes, e-liquids, and any other vaping products will be deemed tobacco products. Any of these products that do not have proper FDA approval will need to be removed from the market or the sellers, manufacturers, and business should expect huge fines and more penalization.
Obviously, these regulations left the vaping industry reeling. How would companies and shops deal with these new, strict rules? What can they do to prepare for that date in 2018? Fortunately, the FDA rules are fairly straightforward. Every single step shops need to take to comply are painstakingly laid out in order. This makes the process easier, as nothing is bogged down in endless paperwork. However, the process can cost millions of dollars – money that most vaping companies do not have. Since many of the regulations are based on laws that already exist for tobacco products and tobacco companies, the amount of money to spend on FDA testing is set under the assumption that vaping companies should have the same amount of money that those tobacco conglomerates do. This isn’t the case and will force many companies to streamline their vaping products into what they can deem affordable.
For example, a company that has a wide range of available ejuice will be forced to either have each one tested by the FDA – a process that can cost up to four million dollars – or reconsider which e-liquids are absolutely necessary to continue selling. By consolidating the number of e-liquids on the market, the company will save millions and millions of dollars. However, this severely limits the number and variety of e-liquids that will be on the market by 2018. After all, there’ll not be that many new companies willing to jump into a market with such an expensive bar of entry. This constriction of the market is likely to make the DIY sector of the vaping industry ramp up. Ejuice DIY kits and supplies are becoming a normal item on the majority of e-commerce vaping/ejuice websites.
Somewhat like the era of the Great Depression, where alcohol was made illegal under a series of government laws, it is likely that many curious vaping creators will start creating their own liquids and devices. Because vaping is an industry that’s centered around tinkering and modifying devices and chemical compounds, the general users are far more likely to try new things than in other industries. We may see something like the craft beer industry, where local areas have custom vape creators who sell unique products specific to the area without letting the authorities know. Or perhaps those creators may only share with friends, as selling such devices will not be legal. In all, there will probably be more local sharing of ideas rather than companies selling products throughout the United States due to the prohibitive costs the FDA is putting on the industry.
The FDA regulations weren’t unexpected, but the consequences may be far-reaching. High costs may lead to a constriction of the market, but the DIY sector will persevere. Vaping hobbyists and professionals alike will continue creating fascinating parts and liquids, keeping the industry alive through local bonds. Things will certainly change, but not necessarily for the worse. More than ever, the DIY spirit will come alive.