Posted by ECigaVapeUSA on 10/16/2014 to E-Cigarette Industry
(CNN) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering how to best regulate electronic cigarettes as tobacco products. While some regulation is needed, the current proposal entails a huge paperwork burden that will create a barrier to entry into the market for all but the biggest players -- namely, Big Tobacco.
Specifically, the FDA has indicated that it may require e-cigarette manufacturers to complete a long paperwork process before it will consider a product for approval.
Many industry watchers believe that only very large manufacturers (i.e., Big Tobacco companies) would have the financial resources to meet the requirements, which could demand an estimated 5,000 hours per application, with every product combination requiring a new application. According to the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association, only 25 products among thousands currently available would eventually be licensed.
The tobacco industry will then be able to buy the small e-cigarette makers that are unable to meet the FDA's requirements.
Big Tobacco will then get to decide which products are sold such that it can manage its own transition from cigarettes to e-cigarettes, or end e-cigarettes as a product category entirely, whichever better serves its financial interests.
In other words, the tobacco industry will be given a monopoly over the first new product to come to market that genuinely stands a chance of disrupting the business of selling smoked tobacco.
Needless to say, the tobacco industry's primary concern is not the health interests of the public.
The World Health Organization has assessed that "effective tobacco control and the commercial success of the tobacco industry are fundamentally incompatible ... accordingly, the tobacco industry can be expected to seek to avoid, prevent, weaken and delay effective policies and programs, which are against its interests."
Electronic cigarettes, also known as vapor products, are designed to mimic the experience of smoking. By heating up liquid nicotine in battery-powered devices, vapors -- rather than tobacco smoke -- are released.
While it's too early to predict the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes, some experts say they are a safer alternative to regular cigarettes, which produce myriad toxic chemicals. For many smokers who have trouble quitting, e-cigarettes are a viable substitute.