A recent article published in the Wall Street Journal caused hysteria among electronic cigarette advocates and business owners Friday afternoon as it claimed that the Food and Drug Administration was initiating a national ban on all online sales of e-cigarettes. The almost $1 Billion e-cigarette industry earns nearly half of its profits from online sales across the world, which is why so many e-cigarette users and advocates, especially manufacturers, panicked. Shortly after, the Wall Street Journal corrected the article and the FDA sent out an official email blast stating that the latest regulatory rumors were in fact just that– rumors. Mitch Zeller, the new director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products explained in the e-blast that although the FDA regularly meets with pro and anti-electronic cigarette representatives, any decisions will be made known to all interested parties simultaneously.
As the electronic cigarette industry continues to grow exponentially, the FDA has been examining the health effects that e-cig products have on users through related scientific research and advocacy groups. As long as no health claims are made by e-cigarette brands, the industry functions with relatively little oversight and a lot of scrutiny. SFATA, a non-profit trade association that represents E-Cigarette business owners, was established nearly two years ago to help e-cigarette business owners. One of the non-profits goals are to create and offer sensible regulatory guidelines to the FDA with the hopes that when the government does decide to implement new regulation on the e-cig industry, it will do so logically as it makes sense to consumers and businesses.
SFATA’s Executive Director, Cynthia Cabrera, is diligently working with government officials, including the FDA, to promote logical legislation that will help the industry and not hurt it or the economy. “The e-cigarette industry understands the need for regulation, and also the need for reasonable and fair laws that will not impede on adult Americans’ rights to use e-cigarettes as an alternative to traditional smoking,” Cabrera said.