Hello out there! Dawn here your loyal and very tired A Clean Cigarette blogger here. Unless you have no access to the news or internet you are probably aware that yesterday on May 5th, 2016 the FDA released a nearly 500 page regulation, effectively deeming electronic cigarettes as tobacco. This large document is the reason I am typing with a half-asleep brain at the moment.
So what does this new “deeming” mean for you and your electronic cigarette rights? Well, in an effort to bring you the most vital information from this document I spent a large majority of my night sorting through it with a pile of sticky notes, highlighters and random articles strewn around my poor living room. I am certain the place will never be the same again. Which is also true for the electronics industry.
The document its self is 499 pages of not only new regulations, but a massive amount of questions and answers designed to take as much of the guesswork out of what they are requiring as possible. Being that the document is so long I will not be doing a lot of quoting, instead let’s paraphrase a few of the more important thoughts. If however, you would like to see the document as it is written please click HERE.
The document clearly states that all electronic nicotine devices whether cig-a-like or tank model are considered tobacco due to nicotine being derived from the tobacco plant. Here at A Clean Cigarette, this is the main part of the regulations that we have the hardest time with. We just plain disagree. We do not use the stem or the leaf, we only derive a small portion of nicotine from the plant. It compares to the amounts found in things like nicotine gum. Which by the way are NOT considered tobacco.
Being deemed tobacco means we will most likely have to go through a registration process that was specifically designed for burning tobacco. This raises a ton of issues, the largest of which of course is cost. When the tobacco registration process was created, it was made with big tobacco’s budget in mind. Most of us in the electronic cigarette industry just do not have 40-60 million dollars to pour into registering our line of products. There is also a ton of evidence suggesting that, unlike the harm that burning tobacco products, electronic cigarettes will not have a huge negative impact on public health.
The whole issue revolves around a specific date published in the document: Feb 15th 2007.
This is the make it or break it date. If you are selling a product made AND sold before that date, then you are considered “grandfathered” in and you will not have to go through the expensive and time-consuming registration. Unfortunately, there were only a couple products on the market at that time. So not many of the electronic cigarettes companies have any way of comparing. They are not what is called significantly equivalent to the original product enough to make the cutoff. If they can not make the cut off they will have between 12 months and 36 months to register as a new tobacco product.
But all hope is not lost. On April 19, the House Appropriations Committee voted to include a bipartisan amendment, sponsored by Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) and Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA), to the 2017 Agricultural Appropriations bill that would amend the Feb. 15, 2007 “grandfather date” for currently unregulated tobacco product categories. That means as long as this bill passes the Grandfather date will most likely be moved up to sometime in 2016. If that happens all the electronic cigarette products currently on the market will be able to skip the registration process altogether. That would be a HUGE win. To make sure this happens we at A Clean Cigarette are asking for your help! Please take time to contact your congressmen. Let them know you support the extended grandfather date on electronic cigarettes.
If the date does not get extended it would effectively put thousands of electronic cigarette companies out of business and hand the entire industry over to the few powerhouses that have$50-60 million of play money. (AKA Big Tobacco) the industry. This would not be in the best interest of public health.
If you would like to contact your congressmen click HERE for a link that will help you.
Other than that deeming though, really the rest of the regulations seem workable.
In the next 90 days, electronic cigarette companies must do a few things…
- Not sell to under 18 customers.
- Not advertise the health benefits or make health claims.
- Place product warnings labels on nicotine products.
- Not give out free samples Ie.. Free Puffs.
The under 18 one and the warning labels are easy for us. We already do this and have always done this. As for the health claims: we don’t, but we do point out research and educate customers on what evidence is out there. And we are not stopping as of now. There are billions of lives at risk here people.
The roughest one is the loss of Free Puffs. A Clean Cigarette believes that electronic cigarettes are not a “one size fits all” type product. so having the opportunity to have customers try it before they buy it is paramount to our customer’s success rate at making the switch. With that in mind here is what we are going to do:
- 0 (zero) nicotine samples will remain free in order to give customers a “taste” of the flavors available.
- Nicotine level affects the taste a ton, so we will also be offering .1 cent tastings on any product containing nicotine.
We only decided to do this with the best interest of our customer in mind. At A Clean Cigarette, we do not have a ton of flavors, we do however have multiple non-menthol and menthol flavors, because people smoke multiple brands of cigarettes. A huge part of why A Clean Cigarette has switched so many smokers is that we can “fit” them to an electronic cigarette that is as close to what they currently smoke as possible.
It appears a main concern of the FDA is that non-smokers may pick this habit up and free samples or taste may entice them. With that in mind, we want to make something perfectly clear: It is important that we note that nothing you inhale besides clean air is good for you and if you are a non-smoker, please do not start. The addiction to nicotine is real and the cost is high on every level from health to $$. We do not sell to non-smokers. That has ALWAYS been the law here at A Clean Cigarette.
So that is the main information that you need to know about the upcoming changes to the A Clean Cigarette world. Not bad eh? We agree. If we could just get Congress to change the grandfathered date all the other regulations seem completely reasonable to us.
Until we are 100% sure which direction we are going to go I do not think bogging you down with all the exacts would be lengthy. so let’s call this enough info for today and please stay tuned for more announcements regarding this FDA deeming!
Thank you so much for stopping by today and please feel free to drop me an e-mail at AccAnswers@gmail .com if you have any questions or concerns. I will always do my best to get back to you ASAP! Have a great day, stop by our Facebook page and give us a like and don’t forget to drop a line to your congressmen! This is important!