Shop Owners Say E-Cig Regulations May Hurt Industry

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Since the Electronic cigarette hit stores shelves it’s been under popular demand, but the Food and Drug Administration is now calling for stricter regulations on not only e-cigs, but pip tobacco, nicotine, gels, water tobacco, and hookahs.

Mike Stephens, an e-cig mixologist says, “We're fine with being regulated, there should be some kind of standards to this industry. Most of us in the industry have tried to self-regulate. Make sure that the products we sell are safe, make sure that what is in them is exactly what we say is in them by doing lab testing."

The proposed regulations are very similar to those for cigarettes and chewing tobacco. You would need to be at least 18 to purchase the products, stores would provide health warnings, and manufacturers would have to register all their products and ingredients with the FDA; that last one is the most controversial.

Wyoming Vapor Company Owner Jason Magnuson says, "They're requiring a separate registration for every flavor, every nicotine level in every flavor, every bottle size of every flavor, and for every propylene, glycol, and vegetable glycerin mix in every flavor. So for one of my flavors that’s over 40 licenses and I have forty flavors." Straight Line Vapors Owner Amy Schicketanz agrees. "Basically they're going to make us do what drug companies do. We have to apply so for instance I carry ninety and five different nicotine strengths, to get one of those on the market is going to cost me right around ten million dollars."

Owners say they’ll have no choice but to close up shop, opening the doors for tobacco companies to enter the industry. "It's not that I don't think they should be regulated. I don't think they should be regulated to the extent that the FDA has done it. What they've done is put time clock on us and in two years it will put every small business that tries to do this like me out of business and the only thing that will be left is the tobacco companies," Magnuson said.

Mom and pop shops would still be allowed to sell zero-nicotine e-cigs, but many believe that could lead to an even bigger problem. "Ordinary people are going to go out and they're going to be able to buy a thousand milliliters of a hundred percent nicotine, that's what's going to be in their homes. So we talk about calls to the CDC over getting a little tiny ten milliliter bottle with ten milliliters of nicotine. Wait until kids can get their hands on lethal doses of nicotine,” Schicketanz said.