Despite noble efforts from many in the vaping community, the Cole-Bishop Amendment to the FDA deeming regulations has once again failed to gain majority support in Congress. This piece of rider legislation would have moved forward the current predicate date of February 15, 2007 by more than ten years had the approval process been successful. It is this predicate date that creates the threshold for products requiring the very expensive and extremely time-consuming PMTA (Pre-Market Tobacco Application) process that threatens to wipe out thousands of vape shops by 2018.
Everything depended on Republicans getting the bill included into the first fiscal budget of Donald Trump, but once again, the American vape industry received yet another crushing blow. The charge against the Cole-Bishop Amendment was led by the Democrats, but even some Republicans refused to support it. Which leads to the question: What went wrong?
The FDA deeming regulations were the brain-child of the Democratic Obama Administration. So, their open opposition to the Cole-Bishop Amendment comes as no big surprise. But with so many vaping advocacy groups allegedly lobbying Republican members of Congress for over a year to pass the bill, the fact that some GOP officials still refused to endorse the Cole-Bishop Amendment should be a huge wake-up call to the average vapor in Hometown, USA.
Even some Republicans failed to vote for the Cole-Bishop Amendment
Apparently, even some Republicans do not feel that anti-vaping legislation like the FDA deeming regulations is enough of a hot-button issue for them to waste their limited political capital. Keeping in mind that Trump’s approval ratings at the 100-day mark are the lowest of any President of the modern era, this also means, unfortunately, that the politicians in his same party are significantly more fearful to break with conventional wisdom and support a bill for an industry with such an overwhelmingly negative public perception.
With Trump’s popularity waning and with such well-known and politically connected anti-tobacco organizations like the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) continuously demonizing vaping at every turn, many political officials are worried of losing their jobs in the 2018 midterms. When the death of the Cole-Bishop Amendment hit the airwaves, the CTFK issued the following statement.
“The budget agreement reached by congressional negotiators delivers critical victories for America’s kids and health over the tobacco industry by rejecting proposals to greatly weaken FDA oversight of electronic cigarettes and cigars and slash funding for the CDC’s programs to reduce tobacco use. By rejecting these special-interest giveaways to tobacco companies, this agreement preserves the FDA’s ability to protect kids from the huge assortment of candy-flavored e-cigarettes and cigars that have flooded the market in recent years and threaten to addict a new generation. The agreement bolsters the nation’s fight against tobacco use – the No. 1 cause of preventable death.”
What does this mean to the average vaper? The time is now to fight! The vaping community can no longer rely on pro-vaping advocacy groups like the American Vaping Association (AVA) and the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA). They cannot do it alone. Contact your state and local congressmen and Senators to demand their support for repeal of the FDA deeming regulations once and for all! And if they don’t vote to repeal, tell them you will vote them out in 2018!