From the press release:
Under expected revised timelines, applications for newly-regulated combustible products, such as cigars, pipe tobacco and hookah tobacco, would be submitted by Aug. 8, 2021, and applications for non-combustible products such as ENDS or e-cigarettes would be submitted by Aug. 8, 2022. Additionally, the FDA expects that manufacturers would continue to market products while the agency reviews product applications.
The regulations, which originally were going to be implemented in August of this year (later delayed until November), would have forced e-cig manufacturers to undergo an expensive and time-consuming FDA approval process for any products that have been released after 2007 (aka almost all of them). Ever since the FDA announced their plans to regulate e-cigs, vaping companies have been operating under the assumption that they would cease to exist by the end of this year. Needless to say, this is huge news.
As part of the new shift towards less harmful methods of consuming nicotine, the FDA is also planning to force Big Tobacco to reduce nicotine levels in their cigarettes to non-addictive levels to help smokers quit.
Here’s what the FDA has to say about lowering nicotine levels in cigarettes:
The FDA plans to begin a public dialogue about lowering nicotine levels in combustible cigarettes to non-addictive levels through achievable product standards. The agency intends to issue an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to seek input on the potential public health benefits and any possible adverse effects of lowering nicotine in cigarettes. Because almost 90 percent of adult smokers started smoking before the age of 18 and nearly 2,500 youth smoke their first cigarette every day in the U.S., lowering nicotine levels could decrease the likelihood that future generations become addicted to cigarettes and allow more currently addicted smokers to quit.
Shares of all the major tobacco companies have dropped dramatically since the announcement (fuck ’em). The biggest tobacco companies in the US and the UK have lost a combined total of $26 billion in market value as a result of the FDA’s intention to make their deadly products less addictive.
It seems like the new administration’s commitment to eliminating regulations has paid off dramatically and will end up saving tons of lives. The vaping community definitely owes a debt of gratitude to the few elected officials who kept the fight alive back when it seemed hopeless (looking at you Duncan Hunter and Ron Johnson). This is a rare case of the little guy winning a fight against some huge opponents. Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, and the majority of the US government were battling to eliminate an industry that is made up of small companies and they just lost. No matter what else is wrong with the world, this is a rare example of something going right.