Totally Wicked, the first-ever brick and mortar vape shop to open its doors in the United States, will be closing for business during the summer of 2018. In a scathing press release from last Friday, Managing Director and spokesperson Fraser Cropper blames the newly announced FDA deeming regulations for the company’s decision. Cropper cites the enormous costs of the related Pre-Market Tobacco Applications process as a principle cause.
The Totally Wicked decision comes just months after the September announcement from pioneering e-cig company NJOY that the organization is filing for bankruptcy amid speculation of diminishing sales, growing debt, a poorly received King product line. The NJOY bankruptcy comes despite long-term investments from such notable entrepreneurs as PayPal founder Peter Thiel and Sean Parker, the co-founder of the now-defunct Napster.
Totally Wicked: 2008 – 2018
Totally Wicked arrived in the United States in 2008 and successfully created a profitable business while consistently and nobly leading the fight for vapers rights. In 2010, the company took on the FDA and won when the agency was illegally impounding many of their products and inventory. In 2015, Totally Wicked then challenged the controversial Tobacco Products Directive of the EU. But now that the FDA deeming regulations have entered the game, the company firmly believes that the American vaping industry is doomed unless an act of Congress overrules or replaces the FDA legislation.
“The FDA is demanding fantastically unrealistic pre-market tobacco authorizations for a product that contains no tobacco, at a cost that is prohibitive to all but the tobacco giants, and bears no relations to the products’ risk or indeed, its remarkable potential when compared to the raging tobacco epidemic. It is designed quite simply to destroy the industry. By the end of 2018, there will be no independent vaping industry left within the USA - unless Congress decides to look deeper into this, or indeed the legal system is willing and able to hold the FDA to account for its fallacious representation of the risk impact that it has used to justify this regulatory abomination.”
Also included in the press release is a promise to continue offering jobs to its employees for as long as possible and to continue battling the FDA deeming regulations with all available resources until the very end. Holding no punches, Cropper even states that the FDA uses “mealy mouthed platitudes” to continuously justify its actions that ultimately threaten public health and strongly favor Big Tobacco. The very last line of the press release reads:
"The FDA may want Americans to continue smoking; we do not."
The entire press release can be located on the BusinessWire website.