The American vaping industry may have discovered a newfound friend and ally in a Chinese advocacy group named the Shenzhen Electronic Vaporizer Industry Association (SEVIA USA). This coalition of approximately 100 founding members of China’s e-cig manufacturers has been keeping a watchful eye on the events surrounding the recently announced FDA e-cig regulations in the United States. As a result, its membership is growing by leaps and bounds, now including other organizations and retailers from nearly every corner of the globe
China is the world’s leading producer of electronic vaping technology, partially due to a manufacturing industry that is largely unregulated by its federal government. Thanks to China, American vapers have grown accustomed to consistently falling prices and a steady stream of “new and improved” vape mods and equipment flooding the market nearly each and every month. The FDA e-cig regulations will stifle this innovation by requiring all new products to obtain approval through a Pre-Market Tobacco Application (PMTA) process that could take 12-18 months and cost in upwards of $1 million per product.
These are just a couple of the reasons that China wants to help fight the FDA e-cig regulations. And now, SEVIA USA is lending its financial, political, and legal support to prove its level of commitment.
SEVIA USA argues e-cigs are not tobacco
Led by Chairman and Executive Director Dimitris Agrafiotis, SEVIA USA firmly believes that the FDA does not have the legal authority to classify electronic cigarettes and vaping devices as “tobacco products.” E-cigs are 100% tobacco-free, and by lumping them together with conventional cigarettes and other Big Tobacco products, the FDA is essentially trying to fill its coffers with illegally-obtained tax dollars.
If the writers of the FDA deeming regulations did not include that single phrase “tobacco products,” then many of the other federal requirements, including the PMTA process, simply would not apply. And the American vaping industry would not be on the verge of bankruptcy. In fact, the PMTA process, which has been in effect for several years but typically reserved for only Big Tobacco products, is so complex and time-consuming that only one application has been approved by the FDA in the past six years.
Thanks to international organizations like SEVIA USA, other American-born advocacy groups like the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) and the Right 2 Be Smoke-Free Coalition are receiving the much-needed financial support to help win the War on Vaping. As the vaping industry continues to file lawsuits over the FDA e-cig regulations in the District Court of Washington D.C. and elsewhere, we can use all the help that we can get.