GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mi. (WPBN/WGTU) — After years of being on the market with virtually no rules to follow, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products such as hookah and cigars are now under strict regulation by the FDA.
The FDA has been working on these regulations for years so local vapor shops say nothing is a surprise to them, and overall think it’ll benefit their business.
“This announcement is saying that pretty much the rules that apply to cigarettes are going to apply to everything else,” said tobacco addiction specialist, Lisa Danto.
Now, no one under 18 can buy them and every product must meet health and marketing standards.
“Because there has been no control over marketing these companies have been lying to the public,” said Danto.
But those in the business say they’ve been ready for this day.
“These are all regulations we’ve been preparing for and embracing since the day we opened to be completely honest,” said GT Vapor president Eric Piedmonte. “It puts us well ahead of the curve in terms of what the next iteration of this industry is going to look like.”
While they say regulations are needed and all their products fall under the market standards, the process for getting that approval will take time.
“While all our juice meets that pre-market approval requirement because we’ve taken those extraordinary steps to get there, the hardware manufacturers are going to be a little behind the ball in terms of catching up,” said Piedmonte.
And while GT Vapor has been 18 and up since the day they opened, others are hoping this will keep kids from getting into tobacco.
“What we’ve seen in the past few years is that the availability of these products has sky rocketed, and instead of kids first using tobacco they’re first using these devices,” said Danto.
And vapor stores are hoping this is an opportunity to grow.
“The consumer being able to walk in the door and be confident in the product they’re buying off your shelves is the utmost important for us as a business,” said Piedmonte. “So even if this adds the slightest amount of legitimacy to our industry and ourselves as a company, I’m all for it.”
Now Piedmonte says not everyone in the business will be as excited. And he says most online shops will also shut down because age verification will be nearly impossible.
Businesses have 90 days to get most of the new regulations implemented, but have two years to get all their products approved.
Please note – this article was originally found on Up North Live