Hon Lik is widely credited as the Chinese inventor of the modern-day e-cig, and his recent comments regarding the FDA deeming regulations are drawing a great deal of criticism. According to a recent interview with Motherboard Magazine, Mr. Lik believes that the new federal oversight will be good for vaping in the long term.
Hon Lik is a former smoker with a strong preference for cig-a-likes rather than the vape mods and advanced technology that is so popular among American vapers today. While the new regulations currently being rolled out in the United States and across Europe threaten small business owners and local vape shops with bankruptcy, Hon Lik doesn’t seem to be all that convinced that this is a bad thing. In fact, Lik has even taken many manufacturers of vaping technology to court in the past over issues of alleged patent violation.
Hon Lik, FDA deeming regulations, and pending lawsuits
Yes, Hon Lik feels that many e-cig companies around the world have unfairly profited from his patents on electronic cigarettes without handing over their share of the profits. Over the years, he has grown so tired of suing one manufacturer after another that he eventually sold his patents to Imperial Tobacco in 2014 for an astonishing $75 million. Imperial Tobacco then kicked things up a notch by filing even more lawsuits at a faster and faster pace in the last few years.
Perhaps for these reasons, Motherboard Magazine asked Mr, Lik the following question: “Speaking of the US, what are your thoughts on the new regulations we’re dealing with here?” To which Hon Like replied,
“You probably mean the deeming regulations This is a positive. This will increase the confidence in this category of products, as well as the manufacturing standards will be improved. However, I also feel that this might put more restrictions on the innovation side which will have a negative impact.
Having said so, I also strongly believe … regulatory environments might improve as well because regulations are more or less behind the movement of consumer market.”
So there you have it. Hon Lik welcomes federal oversight like the FDA deeming regulations and the Tobacco Products Directive of the European Union because he feels these laws will instill a sense of confidence in vaping technology within the general public. And as a former smoker, Lik believes that electronic cigarettes can save millions of lives, but only if the general public views them as 100% safe. While most vaping advocacy groups agree that a limited amount of government oversight is required, most also believe that the FDA deeming regulations simply go too far. Perhaps Mr. Lik is unaware that the FDA deeming regulations threaten to wipe out the entire U.S. vaping industry by 2018 unless new modifications are enacted in the next two years.