In an article on Billings Gazette, last Monday on the 14th of November, Anderson conveyed how he himself successfully quit smoking with the help of electronic cigarettes, after which he opened his own vape shop, uBlaze Vapor, in Billings, Montana. Yet when the FDA declared war on vapor products and ironically regulated them as tobacco products on Aug. 8, they set in motion a two-year process towards the prohibition on the sale and availability of the products in the US.
Another vape shop forced to close down
Unfortunately these events are forcing Anderson to close his business, and terminate 10 employees in less than two years. “ My path towards a tobacco-free life through a small business aimed at providing adult consumers with alternative choices may all come crumbling down. That is, unless Congress acts soon.” said Anderson.
Anderson mentioned how Senators Jon Tester, Steve Daines, and Representative Ryan Zinke have “demonstrated a helpful understanding of this government overreach, as co-sponsors of legislation that would exempt cigars from FDA oversight.” However the situation is critical and he is urging Congress to take action now, “I am asking Congress to intervene when they return to Washington after November’s elections.”
”Unlike cigars, vapor products don’t contain tobacco or even smoke. They’re shown to be at least 95 percent less harmful than combustible cigarettes according to the Royal College of Physicians and Public Health England, and they’re actually helping millions of smokers quit. As the owner of uBlaze Vapor, I meet smokers every day who try vapor products for the first time and never use cigarettes again. They’re able to get the nicotine without the tar and harmful effects of smoke.” continued Anderson.
The irony of things
Whilst the UK has completely endorsed the products as smoking cessation tools. The US has taken the opposite stance, and ironically regulated them as tobacco products, hence subjecting them to the same regulations as the latter, (even though vaping products contain no tobacco, and some not even nicotine).
“Even if the companies that provide different products to my shop could spend thousands of hours and afford the millions of dollars it will take to submit what is known as a Pre-Market Tobacco Application, there is no guarantee that the FDA will approve a single product currently on the market for sale beyond 2018. Absent a stamp of approval from the FDA, the agency has said it will begin seizing products from stores.” added Anderson.
Call to action
In a plea very similar to that launched earlier this week by Totally Wicked, another vaping business forced to close down by the FDA, SFATA member Lucas Anderson is calling onto the aforementioned Senators and Rep. Zinke to intervene and urge the policymakers to include the Cole-Bishop Amendment, and pointed out that many jobs and public health are at stake here.