White House Praises FDA Shift On Vaping As ‘Historic’ Action To Unburden Small Businesses

Steve Birr | Vice Reporter

The Trump administration is praising a decision from the Food and Drug Administration Friday to ease the regulatory burden on vaping businesses and e-cigarette users.

The surprise announcement gives vaping companies four years of breathing room regarding the contentious “deeming rule,” requiring businesses to retroactively submit each individual product to the FDA for approval before it can be sold. The rule threatened to bankrupt much of the industry through a costly application process and take products off market that are actively helping reduce the U.S. smoking rate, according to a recent study.

A spokesman for the White House told The Daily Caller News Foundation President Donald Trump “supports the FDA’s new initiative,” and noted it as an example of his administration’s efforts to give relief to small businesses across the country.

“Public health is a priority and anything that will help protect kids and assist individuals to stop smoking is a worthy cause,” the White House spokesman told TheDCNF. “The President and his administration have taken historic action to eliminate unnecessary and burdensome regulations.”

Commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s announcement Friday reschedules the deadline for companies to comply with the FDA’s “deeming rule” from Aug. 8 2018 to Aug. 8 2022.

Support for the development of less harmful smoking technologies from the White House is welcome news for the industry, which faces a constant barrage of taxes and restrictions across the country.

The report, however, still makes it clear the FDA plans to greatly scrutinize the vaping industry. Officials will investigate the effects flavored vaping products have on children and young adults to see if they are creating unnecessary risks. Former smokers note that flavored vaping products are key to quitting, because they help the user disassociate from the taste of tobacco.

While vaping advocates agree that a delay of the “deeming rule” is welcomed news, they note that the FDA must ultimately overhaul the policy if the industry is going to survive in the future. If the rule stands, businesses will have to submit product applications, which range in cost from $100,000 to $400,000 dollars each, for nearly every item they sell.

“The grandfather date stays the same, and we still cannot launch new products or improve on existing ones to keep up with advances in technology,” Patricia Kovacevic, general counsel and chief compliance officer of Nicopure Labs LLC, told TheDCNF. “So, while grateful, much more needs to be done and the entire regulatory framework needs to be reevaluated and changed.”

The FDA will also attempt to reduce the levels of nicotine allowed in traditional cigarette products as part of their overall tobacco strategy.

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Steve Birr

Vice Reporter

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