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Tech Coalition Calls On Congress To Loosen FDA E-Cig Regulations

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A call on Congress to pass legislation that would benefit the vapor product industry by easing the burdensome regulations outlined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in its “deeming rule” was recently made clear by a coalition of 13 tech organizations.

The FDA’s rules were finalized in May and went into effect on August 8, 2016. The “deeming rule” states that vapor product companies would need to adhere to what the coalition considers to be a “lengthy and expensive” pre-market application approval process, according to Morning Consult, a media and technology company focused on politics and business strategy.

Without FDA approval, products released after the Feb. 15, 2007 predicate date would be strictly prohibited from being sold on the market.

The libertarian-oriented groups that make up the large coalition claim that the FDA’s regulations would hurt small businesses, stifle innovation and ultimately interfere in the development of new technology, Morning Consult reports.

In a letter sent Tuesday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WIS), the tech coalition wrote:

“The FDA has reflexively applied the precautionary principle, giving more weight to theoretical concerns about problems that might arise rather than any concrete evidence of harm. In doing so, the agency is depriving smokers of a demonstrably safer alternative out of pure speculation.”

The groups think that Congress should pass legislation that would move the predicate date from Feb. 15, 2007 to Aug. 16, 2016 to allow vape companies to continue to produce and sell products without having to submit to the taxing approval process, but that would just be the first step, as more work would still need to be done.

“Further legislation will be needed to provide a lasting framework that allows for continued innovation in vapor products and tobacco harm reduction,” said Evan Swarztrauber, communications director at TechFreedom.

To read the complete story, click here for the Morning Consult article.

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San Mateo County Seeks To Ban Flavored Tobacco, To Include E-liquid

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On Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors will propose a prohibition on the sale of flavored tobacco products within San Mateo County, California. Further, the ordinance will prohibit the sale of tobacco products of any kind by pharmacies, and will expand the definition of “tobacco product.” The ordinance, furthermore, will not be read to meeting attendees. However, you can read the ordinance by downloading it in .pdf form from this page.

The meeting will take place at:

Hall of Justice
400 County Center
Redwood City, CA 94063

All those who are in a position to attend are encouraged to do so and if possible to contact Stefan Didak of NotBlowingSmoke.org.

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Youth Association Moves Fauquier School Board To Expand Its Tobacco-free Policy

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The Fauquier County School Board became the 34th school division in Virginia to amend its campus-wide smoking ban to include all tobacco-delivery devices, including vapor products and chewing tobacco.

The push for the expanded tobacco ban in school and during outdoor school events was led by students of Fauquier High School belonging to a youth teen volunteer group called “Y Street”, according to Fauquier Times.

The group is comprised of 50 student members and is sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth. Y Street’s mission is to encourage smoke and vape free behavior for the good of students and the greater community as a whole, Fauquier Times also reports.

About 20 percent of Virginia teens use e-cigarettes, according to the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, and this statistic has driven school officials and students to address vaping in schools.

Any student caught violating the rule set out by the board could face disciplinary punishment while adults will be asked to abstain from using tobacco products during school-sponsored events.

To read more click here for the Fauquier Times article.

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. Contact him at chris@vapemz.com.

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Tennessee Now Pushing Tobacco 19 Legislation

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Vaping Post reports that Tennessee Democrats Jeff Yarbro and Darren Jernigan are pushing legislation to increase the legal age of tobacco purchasers from 18 to 19. Though they have yet to speak openly about this legislative push, Tennessee vaping businesses reportedly believe that this push is intended to negative impact Tennessee’s vapor industry.

Dimitris Agrafiotis of the Tennessee Smoke Free Association said, in part:

“The Tennessee Smoke Free Association representing vape shops and independent vape manufacturers opposes the bill. There is no scientific evidence or data that suggests raising the age of purchase would deter youth from initiating use. In fact the CDC and FDA both have stated that the average smoker starts at age 13. We will continue to support enforcement at the point of sale and fair, reasonable regulation.”

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