By CHRIS MELLIDES
A leading Senate Republican chairman urged three top regulators in the outgoing Obama administration Tuesday to cease implementing new regulations, including those governing the vapor product industry, warning that the burdensome rules would likely be stripped away under a Trump presidency.
Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee who was recently reelected. His desire to reduce and limit regulatory overreach and to support American small businesses were shining attributes that led many in the vape industry to take notice in recent months.
In May, Johnson sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) questioning their motivations and demanding that they justify the harsh regulations they began to implement back in August. The FDA’s eventual response did not satisfy Johnson’s inquiry and opened up more questions regarding the agency’s intent.
Following election day, Johnson appeared on video specifically thanking vapers for helping to get him reelected, and that he would continue to fight for the industry that has benefitted so many of them.
In letters the Wisconsin senator sent to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Labor and the FDA, Johnson was critical in his call for an end to these controversial and costly regulations.
“On November 8, the American people voiced their disapproval of a federal government run by regulation and executive fiat,” wrote Johnson.
In his letter to FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, Johnson wrote, “In light of the significant economic costs on the e-cigarette industry and the substantial likelihood that the incoming administration and the 115th Congress will unwind this burdensome regulation, I call on the FDA to cease its implementation of the current regulation over e-cigarettes.”
He also wrote, “I hope the FDA will acknowledge the reality of the situation and ensure that small businesses and consumers do not continue to incur avoidable financial costs due to this regulation.”
Johnson’s actions are such that they should no doubt be applauded by the vape industry, particularly by those small business owners who would be forced to close their doors should the FDA regulations come to pass in their entirety.
However, while President-elect Trump has promised to pull back regulations and trim away government spending, it’s still too early to know what a Trump administration will ultimately mean for the future of the vape industry in this country.
Johnson’s letter to the FDA can be found here.
Chris Mellides is the Managing Editor of VAPE Magazine. A seasoned journalist, he has worked in all areas of the media industry since first getting his start in newspaper reporting ten years ago. Contact him at email@example.com.