Compliance, compliance… compliance. Y’know what, let’s go ahead and toss on one more “compliance” just for good measure.
Sheesh. Whoever said changing lives was easy, sure had it all wrong.
For all those who don’t know, or didn’t know, the FDA regulations came into effect on August 8th, 2016. From the 8th on, only vaping products that are already on sale will be allowed to be sold for the next six years; a deadline that previously was two years until a recent FDA change. After these six years, only FDA compliant products will be allowed to be sold in the US, at an astronomical cost. These regulations differ vastly with the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) which is a directive of the European Union which places limits on the sale and merchandising of tobacco and tobacco related products in the EU. Within all member states of the European Union, e-cigarettes now have to adhere to certain standards. Nicotine levels have an upper limit of 20mg/ml, e-liquid tanks are to be no large than 2ml, advertising has been severely reduced and there is a 6 month wait to market for new products. In May of 2017, the Tobacco Products Directive came into force.
This recurring narrative of unreasonably harsh regulations and registrations is becoming quite old in my humble opinion. New science, new good science is constantly disseminated from qualified, scientific professionals and yet the mountain of prohibition erected before us vapers, vape retailers and vape manufacturers continues to grow steeper and steeper and steeper.
From the words of a very educated friend in the vaping industry, “Us vape advocates are not complaining about regulation, we’re complaining about prohibition.”
As the number of smokers steadily decline, vape shops continue to rise. Less smokers, new vapers? Interesting correlation, isn’t it?
Defined by Vape News Magazine, a true vape shop focuses its dedication to newbies, offering starter kits, hardware, e-liquids of many types and flavors, usually a tasting bar, information, support and hand holding.
Yelp provided the digital news outlet, Quartz, with the locations of 10,591 stores that identified as “vape shops”. Now, understanding that this information was provided some years ago, we can assume that this number has most likely fluctuated given the heavy taxes, regulations, unreasonable mandatory registrations laid down by some very large regulating entities. But even with all this, vape shops across the country continue to illustrate a remarkable level of resilience despite the powerful hand of governmental organizations hell bent on suppressing the growth of a much-needed industry.
Two days ago one of two mandatory annual FDA registrations needed to be completed in order for all vape retailers to stay compliant. A stock-keeping unit or (SKU) and product list of every flavor, nicotine level and blend must have been uploaded to the FDA’s data base for review and registration by September 30th 2017. As you can imagine, this was no easy undertaking. Nearly a year’s time had gone into compiling roughly 17,000 SKU’s worth of information in order to stay compliant by meeting this deadline. The “ingredient breakdown”, the second of the two-part mandatory registration is due by the 8th of November.
What am I saying?
It goes without saying that there are great odds stacked against vape shops, retailers and manufacturers. I believe this is the result of large federally operated organizations that recognize the value and monetary potential in this industry. With that said, vaping has undoubtedly changed countless lives for the better and while I can only speak on behalf of Mt Baker Vapor, we will continue to believe in a product that provides an alternative option for the roughly 36.5 million adults in the US that currently smoke cigarettes.
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