The cross-party draft law – known as the FDA Deeming Authority Clarification Act of 2017 – was tabled Thursday by Tom Cole (R-OK) and Sandford Bishop (D-GA) and is now gaining traction in Washington. If the bill passes it will move what is known as the “predicate date” for vapor products; all those that were on the market on 8 August 2016 would not now be subjected to a regulatory system so overbearing it amounts to a ban due to its cost and complexity.
“Vapor products offer a promising path for harm reduction for those seeking to quit or limit their smoking,” said Rep. Bishop. “This legislation would ensure the FDA’s regulatory process does not limit the availability of safer tobacco options for those seeking to make use of them.”
“While there is disagreement about whether certain tobacco products should be regulated or not, there should be agreement that new regulations should apply to products moving forward, and not retroactively,” added Rep. Cole.
“Inconsistent authority like this will be detrimental and unfair to many manufacturers and businesses. This legislation preserves the FDA’s ability to regulate these products on par with cigarettes, grandfathers currently available products and then requires the FDA’s approval before any new product is introduced.”The new bill does five things:
- Saves small and mid-size vapor businesses: The thousands of small and medium-sized firms and their tens of thousands of employees will be able to continue to trade. Almost all products on the market were sold after the original predicate date in 2007, so the nine years of innovation up to August 8th, 2016 will remain available to consumers.
- Saves lives: Vapor products have gained widespread consumer acceptance amongst smokers who have tried unsuccessfully over the years to quit. The Royal College of Physicians’ comprehensive review of the science concluded that e-cigarettes represent less than 5% the risk of tobacco cigarettes.
- Addresses the issue of product safety: The FDA Deeming Authority Clarification Act of 2017 requires the FDA to implement their rulemaking on product standards for batteries within 12 months.
- Protects Youth: The FDA Deeming Authority Clarification Act of 2017 will restrict youth marketing and youth access to vapor products.
- Gives the federal government the ability to enforce the law: The FDA Deeming Authority Clarification Act of 2017 requires retailers to register their establishment unless the retailer already is required to register under a state law or federal law.