Pro-vaping association CASAA has called on Americans to reach out to Congress to stop e-cigarettes becoming illegal.
Vapers have until March 22nd to get in touch with their local politicians to help ensure modern vaping products have modern legislation to match.
Congress is currently drawing up its budget and working out how to fund a massive two-year spending package so non-profit NGO Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives says now is the time to act.
One of the final appropriations bills in the mix for negotiation, which will fund the government for fiscal year 2018, is the Cole-Bishop Amendment (house bill HR 1136), a bill introduced last year by Reps. Tom Cole of Oklahoma and Sanford Bishop of Georgia which would set in place more appropriate regulations for e-cigarettes and most importantly would change the predicate date to August 8, 2016.
The current predicate date is currently set at February 15, 2007, when 99% of currently used vaping products did not even exist.
If this regulation goes into effect, most existing e-cigarettes would become illegal until their FDA applications are fully approved, a process that is very costly and could take from several months to potentially years to sign off. CASAA says it is the last chance to get changes made to bring the date forward to 2016 which would greatly support the vaping industry. It says in a statement on its website: “Right now, we have an opportunity to urge support for predicate date change language in the appropriations side of the 2018 budget that will keep vapor products on the market beyond FDA’s prohibition date of 2022.”
“At the same time, those of you who live in districts represented by a co-sponsor of the stand-alone version of the predicate date change (HR 1136) will be sending a thank you message.
They also advise taking action by contacting Congress officials via a number of links available on the CASAA website.
Alex Clark, the CEO from CASAA warned members: “If the existing grandfather (predicate) date is not changed, the vapor products that millions are using to live smoke-free will be subject to regulatory overreach to levels of severity never before experienced by any other billion dollar industrial power.
“Barely a handful of vaping products will remain on the market after the year 2022. Realistically, we can expect to see the diverse market start to shrink long before the effective date of PMTA compliance.”