Local vapor shops concerned new FDA rules will shut them down

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JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) -Local vapor shops owners are concerned new U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations may put them out of business.

The new laws, to take effect later this summer,  allow the FDA to regulate all tobacco-related products including, e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah and pipe tobacco.

“If it goes in to effect as it stands every vape shop in town will be out of business,” Roger Riddle, owner of Vapor Delirium in Johnson City said.

As of now, the vapor industry which for the most part is federally unregulated. Vape shop owners we talked with said the regulations could crush their business.

Now manufacturers of most electronic -cigarettes must meet federal health standards to stay on the market.

“The rule will also allow the FDA to evaluate the ingredients in these products, how they’re made and their potential impact on public health,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf said.

One industry group, Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association, said the FDA is “essentially banning 99 percent of all vapor products” through these new regulations.

The shop owners we talked with said each application to get their product approved  will cost manufactures millions of dollars and then the FDA has to actually approve the application.

“That essentially will put us out of business if the manufacturer cant supply us with products anymore,” Riddle said.

One part of the new rule, it bans selling e-cigarettes to anyone under 18.

Riddle said he agrees with that and has always followed it, but he said the implications of the new rules go much further.

“There’s more to it than that, the FDA’s not just looking at IDs they’re looking at wiping a lot of products out that are really saving people’s lives,” Riddle said.

He said for many of his customers, if the vape shops closed down, “They’ll be forced to go back to probably cigarettes,” Riddle said.

As of now, the new rules are set to start in August.

Many of the vape shops in our area are advocating for a new piece of legislation that would help ease these regulations.Copyright 2016 WJHL. All Rights Reserved.

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