Regulatory Update: Week of 8/6/2018

August 08, 2018

Last week, we saw the beginning of another major attack on flavored e-liquid.  Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) announced that he is working on new legislation to ban what he calls “kid-appealing” e-liquid flavors.  Senator Durbin has named his bill the “Stopping Appealing Flavors in E-Cigarettes for Kids (SAFE Kids) Act,” even though there is already a bill with that same name in Congress.  Guess he couldn’t resist that snazzy acronym.  He has enlisted Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to aid him in his fight.

The bill (S. 3319) would restrict all flavored e-liquids.  However, it would give manufacturers a year to prove to the FDA that their flavors meet three criteria in order to remain on the market:

  •     That flavored e-liquids help adults quit smoking cigarettes
  •     That they do not increase youth use of nicotine products (act as a gateway)
  •     That they do not increase the risk of harm to the user

The bill would also ban cigar flavorings altogether within one year.

While this sounds like the same tired arguments, many of which have already been disproven, the leading vaping trade organization, the Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA), insists that Senator Durbin is sincere in his efforts, if misguided.  He has led a successful crusade against Big Tobacco since as far back as the 1990’s and genuinely sees vaping as just the latest manifestation of the harm to children that he has been fighting all these years.  As SFATA’s federal lobbyist Mike Hogan lamented, “He actually believes what he is saying—he does honestly want to protect kids from addiction—but seems to no longer have the capacity to learn new facts or accept the multitude of peer-reviewed, published scientific literature on this topic.”

Kai’s Virgin Vapor has been a long time supporter of SFATA and we make monthly donations to support them in their important work.  SFATA will remain on the front lines working to secure sensible regulations for the vaping industry that protects both children and adults from harm while offering adults a sensible harm reduction alternative to smoking regular cigarettes.  We’ll keep you updated on the developments as this Senate Bill works it’s way through the regulatory process.

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