Well, it's rare that we get to be the subject of one of our own Regulatory Update blog posts, especially when it comes to being on the front lines of the battle with the FDA to save vaping, but this week, we get to ride in on a white horse...maybe!
If you've been following our Regulatory Update blog posts, you'll know that we've been covering the recent developments with the FDA, in particular the FDA's threats to ban all online sales of e-liquid. You'll also know that, in our post of October 1st, we strongly argued that banning online e-liquid sales to prevent sales to minors was unnecessary and we proposed what we believe is a better alternative.
The USPS offers an "age verification on delivery" service that is relatively inexpensive and 100% effective in preventing the sale of e-liquids to persons who are underage. Identification is required and must be inspected and approved by an independent 3rd party, the United States Postal Service. This eliminates the problems caused by convenience stores looking the other way when it comes to showing I.D. because of a vested interest in making the sale. Undercover sting operations conducted by the FDA over the summer showed that these types of stores were indeed the biggest offenders when it comes to distributing nicotine to minors and it was this finding that caused the FDA to consider banning online sales.
After I posted that original blog post, our Director of Operations and I were discussing this issue and we decided we wanted to make sure that SFATA, the Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association, the largest lobbying organization on behalf of the vaping industry, was aware of our proposed alternative. As long time members and financial supporters of their important work, we've made a few friends on the inside so we reached out to them to go over our proposal. They were clearly intrigued because they requested a follow up call for us to go over our proposal with none other than the man himself, Mr. Mark Anton, the new Executive Director of SFATA.
Our call with Mark lasted about 20 minutes and Tod Stebbins, our Director of Operations, went over with him in detail how "age verification on delivery" works, how we have been successfully using this method, and how it might be a solution for the FDA. Mark had already heard about our proposal from others at SFATA and had scheduled this call at 10 pm EST last night because he was just about to leave for Washington D.C. and he wanted to take our proposal with him directly to the FDA!
So, yes, our humble little blog post might, just might, help save the future of vaping! Keep your fingers crossed and we'll keep you updated when we touch base with Mark after he gets back from his trip.
To find out more about SFATA's important work or to join us in supporting them financially, please visit their website: https://www.sfata.org/
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