MIDDLE RIVER, Md. (WJZ) — For the first time, the federal government issues rules and guidelines for e-cigarettes.
WJZ’s Amy Yensi explains why the move could lead to a legal battle.
Like other manufacturers of electronic cigarettes, Vape Dojo in Middle River will now have to meet federal health standards to stay on the market following a ruling by the FDA.
“The rule will also allow the FDA to evaluate the ingredients in these additional tobacco products, how the products are made and their potential impact on public health,” said Dr. Robert Califf, FDA commissioner.
The ruling also bans selling e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18.
Public health advocates applaud the move, but Bryan Walker — who founded Vape Dojo and its seven retailers in Maryland — says the pre-market application is too complicated and costly and may put smaller companies out of business.
“It is too much. It’s too strict. It will totally destroy this industry in the United States,” said Walker.
E-cigarettes are battery powered devices that turn nicotine into an inhalable liquid vapor.
The ruling comes as e-cigarette use is soaring among young Americans.
In 2015, three million middle school and high school students used the devices.
“Nicotine does not belong in the hands of children,” said Sylvia Burwell, secretary, Health and Humane Services.
Some people use e-cigarettes as an alternative to traditional tobacco, but the potential health benefits and risks have yet to be determined.
The ruling goes into effect in 90 days. It could have a huge impact on the $3.5 billion industry.
Some companies already comply with the standards on their own. That includes health warning labels.