Electronic cigarettes have been such an extraordinary success in the few years since their mainstream distribution that our regulatory and legislative bodies can no longer ignore them. In many ways, this increased government attention is a sign of legitimacy. E-cigs are firmly established as items customers want, and just like literally everything else sold in a store, will be subject to regulation.
The FDA, at this time, is not attempting to block online e-cig sales, so that matter of convenience will remain available (at least for now). Perhaps recognizing that variety is the spice of life, the regulators are allowing cartridges to come in any flavor manufacturers and consumers want—a key concession for dedicated vapers’ taste buds. In an encouraging statement, the FDA has said they will avoid firmer regulation until they have concrete, scientific evidence to supporting the same.
At the municipal level, cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco have decided to treat e-cigarettes the same as cigarettes, banning their use at restaurants, beaches and public parks.
As e-cig consumers, there’s room for your voice to be heard. In several cities, vapers have gotten together to discuss their ideas and objectives. Back in March, LA’s e-cig community staged a demonstration in protest of the LA Council’s restrictive legislation. In Herndon, Va., just outside of D.C., the National Vapers Club held DC Vapefest to discuss industry practices and how to protect the right to vape. It’s downright impossible to move the needle on such a big issue while acting alone, so if your right to savor e-cigs is important to you, get involved!
Continue to check back here for regulation news and opportunities to influence the narrative. There was a rash of rulemaking in the first quarter of 2014, and there’s certainly more to come. Make sure your voice is heard!
Michael Nissenbaum is a lawyer by day (and night), and a writer by night (and day). You can follow him on Twitter @gnarsenbaum.