Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year or two, you know that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is planning to put new regulations in place in the near future that will have a huge impact on the entire vaping industry. The strict FDA regulations will make it just about impossible for many vaping companies, especially many smaller vaping companies, to create new products without paying hefty fees for testing.
There are many experts who believe that the vaping regulations could end up taking down the entire industry at some point. If nothing else, they will essentially make it easier for the big companies and Big Tobacco to take over, and before long, all of the aspects of the vaping industry that we know and love will be gone forever.
There might be some good news on the horizon for the vaping industry, though. According to Regulator Watch, U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter—who is affectionately known both inside and outside of the vaping community as the “Vaping Congressman”—is preparing to try and repeal and replace the FDA deeming regulations with comprehensive legislation that could potentially save the vaping industry as we know it.
You can watch a news clip from Regulator Watch on the new Hunter vaping legislation—which just cleared the House Office of the Legislative Counsel—here:
It’s important to note that the Hunter vaping legislation is not yet going to be installed as a replacement for the FDA deeming regulations. But Rep. Hunter spoke last week about how he expects to introduce his legislation to his fellow Congresspeople this week, assuming everything goes according to plan. Before he does, let’s take a closer look at what his legislation entails…
What Is Rep. Hunter Proposing?
Rep. Hunter has been an advocate for the vaping community for a long time now, and he really doesn’t want to see the FDA regulations go into place. So he has created what is being called the Cigarette Smoking Reduction and Electronic Vapor Alternatives Act of 2017. Rep. Hunter is trying to use this legislation to do several things.
First, Rep. Hunter wants to remove vaping products from the definition of tobacco that exists in the Tobacco Control Act. Second, he wants to establish a new regulatory framework for the vaping industry and clearly identify vaping products as tools for harm reduction. Additionally, the bill Rep. Hunter has proposed would change the name of the Center for Tobacco Products at the FDA to the Center for Tobacco Products and Harm Reduction.
By introducing his bill to Congress, Rep. Hunter wants to draw attention to the fact that the FDA regulations are entirely too harsh. He also wants to show everyone that the FDA seems to be very dismissive of vaping, as his bill calls for extensive studies into the smoking vs. vaping debate and also calls for researchers to compare and contrast vaping to other smoking reduction alternatives that are out there.
Finally, Rep. Hunter has also made a push for industry standards for both vaping devices and e-juices, and he has placed a specific emphasis on battery safety in his legislation. It sounds like Rep. Hunter wants a total overhaul of the FDA regulations, and he believes he has a better plan that the country should put into place.
What Will It Mean to the Vaping Community?
While plenty of people have talked about calling on Congresspeople to repeal the FDA deeming regulations, there hasn’t been a whole lot of action on the part of Congress recently. So the fact that Rep. Hunter has taken the time to put together a possible solution to the vaping industry’s biggest problem is encouraging.
When he spoke last week, Rep. Hunter sounded very hopeful with regards to introducing his legislation to Congress. He has spent a lot of time coming up with a comprehensive plan meant to replace the FDA regulations, and he thinks he has a good chance of getting other Congresspeople to come on board with his plan, provided he’s able to present it.
If Rep. Hunter is able to present his plan and get others to go along with it, it could be a big win for vapers everywhere. Some people have pointed out that the legislation isn’t perfect—Rep. Hunter’s legislation still calls for some regulation, especially when it comes to vaping products and e-juices—but it sounds like it’s significantly better than what the FDA is offering.
Is It Too Early to Get Excited?
Unfortunately, we wouldn’t get too excited about Rep. Hunter’s bill just yet. Before he can get enough support for it, he needs to get his opportunity to present it to Congress, and that in and of itself could end up being an issue.
Congress has a lot of other really important issues on the table right now, including dealing with everything from a possible Obamacare replacement to the border wall that President Trump is pushing for. They are also facing a government shutdown at the moment, which could bring things to a standstill.
There is also another major issue at play, which is that the FDA doesn’t currently have a Commissioner in place. President Trump selected Scott Gottlieb to be his FDA Commissioner, but he hasn’t been officially appointed to the position just yet, and as Regulator Watch points out, it’s extremely unlikely that the FDA deeming regulations would be repealed when the FDA is still technically without a Commissioner.
With these things in mind, it’s not time to celebrate what Rep. Hunter is doing just yet. There are still obstacles to get around and hurdles to jump before Rep. Hunter’s legislation has a chance of becoming a reality.
Why We Should All Monitor This Situation Closely
The FDA’s deeming regulations could be repealed and replaced at some point in the near future, if all goes according to Rep. Hunter’s plan. But nothing is set in stone at this point, so for now, we should all keep an eye on the situation and see how far Rep. Hunter is able to take things.
In the meantime, you can check out Rep. Hunter’s legislation here to get a better sense of what he’s trying to do. Does all of this news make you more hopeful for the future of vaping, or are you still worried that the FDA could ultimately get its way and keep it regulations in place?