In an unexpected turn of events, the FDA deeming regulations that threaten to bankrupt the American vaping industry by 2018 have just received a 90-day extension. In a letter released last night by Lindsay Tobias from the Center for Tobacco Products, portions of the regulations that relate to the registration of vaping products are being pushed back to November 8, 2018.
The new extension grants manufacturers of vaping technology and e-liquids another three months to comply with the Pre-Market Tobacco Applications (PMTA) process which could cost retailers as much as $1 million per product. And according to a recent report published by The San Diego Union Tribune, other portions of the FDA deeming regulations have also received similar extensions.
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given manufacturers of electronic cigarette equipment a three-month reprieve from registering their products.”
“Other deadlines under the FDA’s rule deeming e-cigarette devices and liquids to be tobacco products are also delayed three months, but the registration deadline was the closest.”
What is the reason for the new FDA extension?
The letter offered by FDA spokesperson Tobias offers little explanation for the sudden turn around, but a press release published on the website The Cig Authority offers a possible reason for the surprise FDA extension. According to the press release, a court decision involving a lawsuit filed against the FDA by Cigar Rights of America (CRA) and other plaintiffs that may have played a significant tole.
“The United States Department of Justice informed the court that new leadership at the United States Department of Health and Human Services wish additional time to more fully consider the issues raised in the Rule. For example, the deadline for submission of product listings, previously June 30, 2017, will now be September 30, 2017. The three month extension applies to all future scheduled deadlines whether they fall in 2017, 2018, or later. “
The United States Department of Justice is headed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a recent appointee by the newly elected Donald Trump. If the press release is true, then Sessions appears to be demanding further investigation into the “issues raised” by the controversial FDA deeming regulations. Many in the vaping community are hopefully optimistic that this recent announcement of a 90-day extension is a positive sign that the Trump Administration may finally be coming to the defense of the American vaping industry.