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​Congress Blocks FDA to Protect Vaping Industry

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Sometimes support for the vaping industry comes from the most unlikely of places. While the FDA has been pushing for harsh regulations of e-cigs and vaping paraphernalia, Congress is finally beginning to push back and with a bit more vengeance than the vaping community might have otherwise expected. Leading the charge against the FDA is none other than House Speaker Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, a long-time smoker who has been photographed lighting up all around Washington, DC, even on the steps of the Capital Building itself.

(Courtesy of WhiteHouse.blogs.cnn.com)

In April of 2014, the FDA proposed new legislation that would have required all existing and future e-cigarettes and vaping devices to go through a rigorous approval process before their release to the American public for purchase. Childproof packaging was another proposed requirement. If passed, this legislation would have cost the vaping industry billions of dollars. And according to the American Vaping Association (AVA), over 99% of vaping products would eventually be banned from the market completely.

Also according to the AVA, a single application for every individual vaping product and e-juice blend would have cost the vaping industry about 5,000 man-hours and some $300,000 each to complete. Furthermore, the filing of an application would not necessarily guarantee approval. And even should approval be granted at some point in the future, it would be highly unlikely that the approval would be instantaneous.

The release of new advancements in vaping technology could theoretically stall for years because the FDA did not include in their bill any predetermined deadlines for acceptance or denial of the applications. Millions of small business owners dependent on the vaping community would have been facing bankruptcy almost overnight had the FDA-sanctioned bill passed.

Thankfully, the FDA was official shot down in a press release by the House Appropriations Committee in late June 2015. This “vaping victory” is largely due to a letter written to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell by Boehner and some of his colleagues. Among other things, the letter warns of the disastrous economic fallout that the passing of this proposed legislation would inflict on the American vaping industry.

Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy and the Chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, Rep. Fred Upton, joined in the fight alongside Boehner. More surprising perhaps is that all of these politicians are Republicans, rather than the presumably more liberal Democrats who largely sided with the FDA. 

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