Vape shop owners, beware.
New rules that may come out in two months from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration could require you to collect data and apply to the FDA for permission to use vaping devices and homemade, flavored nicotine juices, according to the Wall Street Journal. And that could cost from $2 million to $10 million.
The alternative is to stop making your own flavored nicotine juices and e-cigarette devices and buy them from larger firms that have deeper pockets.
If that happens, you'll likely pay more and will have to charge your customers more.
Who wins? Big Vaping, including Big Tobacco firms such as Henrico-based Altria, which is marketing its own e-cigarettes. Such firms have the economic clout to see the FDA registration process through.
The Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association, a lobby group, says that up to 99 percent of the vaping industry will go out of business. Many of the stores are small, homegrown operations that have taken off as vaping, which offers the pleasures of addictive nicotine without the dangers of tobacco smoke, has become popular.
The problem is that vaping is so new that safety threats aren't clearly understood. If used improperly, nicotine can be lethal. It can harm children and stunt brain development in pre-teens and teenagers. Badly-made vaping devices can release dangerous formaldehyde.
The Journal quoted Daniel Walsh, chief executive of PureBacco, a Michigan-based maker of flavored nicotine, as calling coming regulation the “vapocalypse.”