As we approach the FDA’s announcement of their proposed regulations on the e-cigarette and tobacco industries, rumors of the severity of the rulings are beginning to make their way around the vaping community. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has been fairly open that the organization is looking to place tighter FDA restrictions on the e-cigarette industry, in response to what he refers to as an “epidemic” of teenage vaping and e-cigarette use. Initial pressure from the FDA was levied onto JUUL and other major e-cigarette manufacturers this past summer, where they were required to submit plans to reduce teen vaping, along with turning over marketing materials that proved that teens were not being targeting.
There are 3 major areas that are being mentioned as possible regulations that will be unveiled by the FDA, they revolve around e-cigarette availability in retail locations, e-cigarette flavors, and age verification processes. Keep reading to learn more about how each area of these proposed rulings could affect you and your right to vape!
Prohibiting Flavored E-Cigarette Sales in Convenience Stores and Gas Stations
In convenience stores and gas stations around the country, the space behind the counter that was traditionally reserved for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco has begun sharing the space with vapor products in the past few years. More and more, these stores are swapping out tobacco window display ads for ads featuring e-cigs, making their availability inside well known to customers of any age. The FDA has found that the majority of underage sales of vapor products actually originates from convenience stores and gas stations, and has gone so far as to commend vape shops for their strict adherence to only selling products to adults.
In an attempt to make e-cigarettes less available, and desirable, to teens, the FDA is looking to move forward with banning flavored e-cigarettes and cartridges from being sold in convenience stores and gas stations, making them only available in specialty vape shops or through online retailers. Proponents of vaping, and it’s harm reduction possibilities, are claiming that even flavored e-cigarettes are helping former smokers switch to vapor products, and making them less available will leave them turning back to traditional cigarettes.
E-Cig Flavors Remain in the Crosshairs of the FDA
Here at White Cloud, we’ve been closing following reports of proposed flavor bans on a national scale that may come from FDA restrictions, as well as on the local and state government levels. Cities like San Francisco have already successfully implemented a ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, and it appears that future FDA restrictions are looking to bring a similar ban to the national level. As previously mentioned, this flavor ban will first take effect in convenience stores and gas stations, which will only be allowed to offer vapor products in tobacco, and for the time being, menthol and mint flavors.
In 2009, the FDA placed a ban on cigarettes that featured flavors other than menthol, with the intent that these flavored cigarettes were appealing to young adults and teens. Reports are circulating that, along with the proposed vaping regulations soon to be announced, that a ban on menthol cigarettes will also be included. If trends continue, it’s possible that the FDA could eventually push to include menthol as a “flavor” and ban it from being used in e-cigarette products as well.
Online Sales of E-Cigs to Face Tighter Restrictions
The final major area that is expected to be addressed by the FDA’s proposed regulations is to place a ban on online sales of electronic cigarettes and vapor products. While it may seem extreme, the “ban” is actually meant to force the hand of e-cig companies to implement stricter age-verification processes while handling online orders. It’s expected that the FDA will produce a mandate that online retailers must meet in order to continue to sell vapor products online.
White Cloud customers are already familiar with our industry-leading age verification process which harnesses the power of LexisNexis® Instant Age Verification to aid in the prevention of underage purchases and identity fraud. By utilizing the LexisNexis® database of over 34 billion data records, White Cloud is able to reference this system in the background as an order is being placed. If the customer’s age cannot be confirmed through a LexisNexis® check, the order is flagged and a photocopy or a state-issued ID or proof of residence is requested. If those items cannot be provided, the order is cancelled and refunded.
Keep checking in with the White Cloud blog for the latest updated on the upcoming FDA restrictions and regulations. If you have any questions on how your future orders may be affected, feel free to contact our award-winning customer service team, who will be happy to walk you through any questions or concerns you may have.