E-cigarette retailers, smokers weigh-in on new FDA regulations

Retailers have until the end of the month to meet federal vaping guidelines

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - Smokers turn to e-cigarettes as an alternative way to still get a buzz, but that may be under fire after FDA regulations went into effect this summer.
 
Since the FDA started regulating e-cigarettes, retailers and consumers alike have been affected negatively.
 
The prices of items have gone-up, the selection of juices has dropped, and people new to vaping are left in the dark.
 
“If you're new to vaping, you're trying to quit smoking. You want to save your health, and you need help with it. You want to see how it works, how it's put together. What you got to do with it. You can't get help that you used to get,” said Jared Snyder, a user of vape products.      
 
Local retailers said they are scrambling to find answers as yet another deadline looms on the horizon.
 
The FDA will require all vapor products to undergo a process that will cost close to $1 million per item, and that is something small business owners just can't afford.
 
This will take effect in August of 2018, and the deadline for manufacturers to declare that they will undergo this process is at the end of this month.
 
“After that deadline, when it comes to the point when they've got to start the process and start to pay those fees, we're going to see a lot of vendors drop-off. We're going to see a lot of businesses close,” said Eric Sutton, owner of Zootie’s Vapors in Hagerstown.   
 
Consumers like Snyder are dismayed at the prospects vape lovers are currently facing.
 
With the high cost of sending new flavors into the FDA, the amounts have dwindled.
 
Customers are also required to pay a dollar every time they want to try a new flavor, so the demand for new and different juices just isn't there.
 
“I have seen varieties go down. They carry a lot less juices now. Some juices, I guess, the price did go up. You just don't see them anymore,” said Snyder.
 
Sutton hopes the FDA will loosen their guidelines for vape retailers and their customers, but in the meantime, he among other vape product business owners said the future is hazy.

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