Vaping has become a popular trend in recent years with many different types of people. Vape shops are popping up, vaping competitions are happening, and an entire culture of vapers are connecting over the trend. There are positives and negatives associated with the trend as well as a discussion on the health effects that it has on the vaping community. The Food and Drug Administration is now taking action with e-cigarette and vaping technology to ensure that it’s safe for everyone; but what do these new regulations really mean for vapers?
In May 2016, the FDA announced new regulations for e-cigarettes and vaping technology. The regulations take effect in August 2016 and e-cigarette companies have two years to meet regulations and make their case that their product should remain on the market. If they hit the deadline, they will be allowed to continue selling for another year while the FDA reviews their applications. The new regulations require scientific evidence of their safety, different applications on every product variation (flavor liquids, mods, batteries, etc.), and information on the different effects of vaping, smoking, and not using nicotine delivery systems at all. The process of being approved by the FDA is extensive and the regulations for vaping technology seem to be nearly impossible to follow.
The Elimination of Vape Shops
The issue here is that there are so many vape shops from large e-cigarette corporations and small vape shops that pop up. Each application is expected to cost around $1 million, and each product needs an application. For small vape shops this means every custom made e-liquid in different flavors and strengths. That’s the end of many vape shops across the country right there. Even one application is unrealistic for many small shops. That would also mean the end of shops that allow the customer to assemble their own vaporizers using their desired heating elements, liquid, mod, etc. since the FDA would need information on every combination of each element.
It seems that the regulations put forth by the FDA are creating the inevitable end for the majority of e-cigarette and vape shops – but is this a bad thing? If vapes can’t pass regulations by the FDA does that mean we are better off not having them at all? The FDA doesn’t only eliminate things that are bad for us, if that was true cigarettes themselves would be outlawed and not just required to have a label that expresses health concerns. The result of such strict regulations will be small e-cigarette businesses going under and Big Tobacco companies will flourish, taking the industry for itself since they are the only companies with enough resources to get through FDA regulations.
There seems to be some back and forth on the health issues relating to vaping and smoking. Vaping can be done with nicotine or without, but vaping with nicotine seems to have the same short-term health effects that come with smoking a traditional cigarette, including increased heart rate, high blood pressure, etc. The heating elements, like propylene glycol, are heated it can turn into formaldehyde which is unsafe to inhale. Large doses of nicotine can aggravate heart conditions and interfere with fetal development no matter what method is used to ingest it. E-cigarettes also have had issues with their lithium ion batteries exploding – so it’s not the safest smoking alternative.
However, the wide population of vapers utilizing e-cigarettes and vape pens to quit smoking traditional cigarettes cause a bit of a disturbance in the evidence that vaping is bad for you. Granted, it’s bad to go from being a non-smoker to being a vaper. But, it seems to be a positive health change to go from smoking traditional cigarettes to vaping. There is not nearly as many statistics on vaping as there is about smoking, so the lack of knowledge is unnerving to many.
So what do the FDA regulations for vaping mean for vapers? For vapers that own vape shops, it probably means the end of your business venture. For consumers that vape, it probably means you’ll have to vape using an e-cigarette created by Big Tobacco or ditch vaping altogether. The hope is that those that utilize vaping to quit smoking traditional cigarettes won’t go back to smoking. These regulations hold both positive and negative qualities, but the FDA consensus seems to be that vaping needs to be as safe as it can be and not be a danger to young people especially. There are positives and negatives to weigh for yourself, but it seems the vape shops popping up are sure to be vacant soon.
Chelsy is a writer from Montana who is now living in Boise, Idaho. She graduated with her journalism degree from the University of Montana in 2012. She loves her animals, listens to talk radio, and prefers her coffee cold.