The Food and Drug Administration’s imminent regulation over the e-cigarette market has engaged companies, organizations, and concerned consumers in an intense debate and everyone wants to share their thoughts and opinions about the new rules. The regulations would have ecigs regulated basically as tobacco analogs along with some other provisions which further hammer anyone selling anything even remotely tobacco related. And since the FDA decided to extend the commenting period, many have taken advantage of the situation, like the recent NACS document.
NACS or The National Association for Convenience Stores submitted a 8 page document full of comments, detailing which amendments they agree with and which one contradict with their opinions. The association posted a press release at the beginning of August that it had submitted comments on the proposal — most of which claimed to generally support the new regulations with only a few exceptions. The first minor exception asked that a paragraph that requires retailers selling individual cigars to place a warning sign next to each cash register be removed. The second one was a request that the period between when the rules passing and when they become effective to be extended for an extra 30 days.
‘NACS has two concerns with the Proposal in this regard: First, the counter-space in a convenience store is extremely valuable. In fact, it is the most valuable display space in a store. It is inappropriate for FDA to require that retailers selling individual cigars forfeit this valuable space,’ wrote the association in its public comment.
‘Second, the proposal is unclear as to which party would be required to develop and submit rotation plans for warnings signs. With respect to cigarettes, the Tobacco Control Act clearly places this obligation on tobacco product manufacturers, 6 and does not authorize FDA to shift this burden to retailers.’
Overall, the National Association for Convenience Stores agreed that minors should not be allowed to purchase e-cigarettes or any of the related accessories. Some cities have already passed bills, which restrict sales of electronic cigarettes to people less than 18 years of age, but this new regulation would work as a governing law that covers the entire country.
The big exception was that the National Association for Convenience Stores wanted the new regulations to be extended to cover online sales as well and especially those of e-cigarettes. For the time being, the FDA is not openly opposing online sales of electronic cigs, but many feel this is surely to change. It seems probable that either the Food and Drug Administration has included some subversive language in the new rules which will make online sales troublesome, or they will push for new changes in a second round of regulation to come.