The American Vaping Association, a leading advocate for the benefits of vapor products such as electronic cigarettes, reacted to the release of a letter sent last week by members of leadership in the House of Representatives to HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell.
In the letter, Rep. John Boehner (House Speaker), Rep. Kevin McCarthy (House Majority Leader), and Rep. Fred Upton (Chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee) urge Secretary Burwell and the Food & Drug Administration to revise their proposed regulations on “e-vapor products” (‘vapor products’) to ensure that these innovative products are not snuffed out by overly burdensome regulations.
The cosigners ask that the proposed rule’s Feb. 15, 2007 grandfather date for e-vapor products and other “newly deemed tobacco products” be moved to 2014 or later to ensure that the majority of these technology products are not banned from being sold:
“As a practical matter, many newly deemed products could be removed from the market. … [T]he cost and barriers surrounding a new product submission would largely prevent new entries, posing an unwarranted regulatory barrier to innovation.”
“This is a critical issue, and we request that manufacturers of newly deemed tobacco products have the same market entry opportunities as manufacturers of cigarettes and other currently regulated tobacco products. … Any final provision on this issue should ensure equity among all regulated tobacco products and encourage innovation while achieving the purpose of the law.”
Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, issued the following statement: “We are thrilled to see prominent members of Congress call for the FDA to make changes to its proposed rules for vapor products. Without significant revisions, the proposed regulatory regime threatens both public health and thousands of American small- and medium-sized businesses. The FDA’s own economic analysis recognizes that the regulation will lead to the vast majority of vapor products being removed from the market.
“Vapor products are playing a significant role in helping achieve the sound public health goal of reducing cigarette smoking and its associated harms. By guaranteeing the removal of tens of thousands of smoke-free vapor products from the market, the FDA’s proposal will have the practical and unacceptable effect of protecting cigarette markets. It is fundamentally unfair–not to mention a blow to genuine public health—to subject vapor products to burdensome rules that are more stringent than those faced by deadly combustible cigarettes.
“We encourage members of Congress from both parties—especially those with growing vapor companies in their district—to get involved with this important issue before it is too late.
“Furthermore, the AVA strongly urges the House Energy & Commerce Committee to hold hearings on the potential devastating impact of the FDA’s proposed vapor product regulations.”