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Valley Vape Organizations Concerned About New FDA Regulations On E-Cigarettes

(Photo courtesy of Food and Drug Administration)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has enacted regulations of tobacco products nationwide to include e-cigarettes, hookah and cigars.

E-cigarette use among high school students jumped more than nine times in the past five years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In response, the FDA announced new rules in May to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of minors.

“In about two years, pretty much every business will be out of business. They won’t be able to afford to comply with regulations,” Vape A Vet Project Executive Director William Cohen said.

Cohen’s Phoenix-based charity donates vaping kits across the world to veterans and active military members to encourage them to switch from traditional cigarettes to e-cigarettes.

“We can’t send any product out for free any longer,” Cohen said. “So, it’s changed kind of our whole model of providing these services at no cost because they banned free samples.”

To comply with the new regulations, he has to charge $15 per care package. Other rules include making products childproof and placing health warnings on packages and advertisements. The FDA also must approve any new product before it hits the market.

“While we don’t have to fill out any of these applications, all of the vendors that donate product to us will have to,” Cohen said. "And so we’re gonna start seeing those donations dry up.”

Owner of E-Cig City Tempe Andrew Bird said the rules will impact his business, but that it was only a matter of time before regulations were put in place.

“Whatever we can do today to get closer to fully legitimizing ourselves and preparing ourselves for what’s to come, you know, that’s what we’re going to do. I’ve got to keep my doors open,” Bird said.

Cohen said regulations aren’t the problem. It’s holding vaping to the same standard of cigarettes that will destroy the industry.

Katy Burge was an intern at KJZZ in 2016.