Local vape shops prepare for new e-cigarette federal regulations

The FDA calls the regulations "a milestone in consumer protection" that cover more than just e-cigs, and extend to all tobacco products

Associated Press

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN/KXAN) – Starting on Monday, the Food and Drug Administration’s new federal regulations for e-cigarettes go into effect.

As part of the new regulations, the FDA will be able to:

  • Review new tobacco products not yet on the market;
  • Help prevent misleading claims by tobacco product manufacturers;
  • Evaluate the ingredients of tobacco products and how they are made; and
  • Communicate the potential risks of tobacco products.

Currently, it’s illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under 18 years of age. Next week, the FDA will also be able to include non-tobacco products like e-cigarettes in that ban.

Businesses that sell these products, including hookah and cigars, will also be required to comply with federal tobacco laws. If they don’t, they could face enforcement action from the FDA.

Nikitis Katsourakis, owner of Rocco’s Vape Lounge in Boardman, is still trying to figure out how all of the new regulations will affect his business.

“There’s a lot of disdain for the regulations. A lot of people feel it’s unfair,” he said. “It’s helped a lot of people stop smoking traditional cigarettes.”

One customer says the new regulations bother him because it will prevent the shop from helping customers with problems they might have.

“Them not being able to service their customers with help, like rebuilding of coils, rebuilding the units for us, to help troubleshoot them when you have problems,” Chris Neapolitan said.

Sheila Leonardo, another customer, says it’s unfair and will hurt businesses.

The FDA calls the regulations “a milestone in consumer protection” that cover more than just e-cigarettes.

“Monday is basically just kind of a learning curve, kind of a new way for the brick and mortars… to provide service to customers,” Katsourakis said. “I feel like it’s that two-year span from then until 2018 when we’ll really see what this bill does to the vaping industry.”

According to the Center for Disease Control, the popularity of e-cigarettes has skyrocketed in recent years and the global market is forecast to reach about $50 billion by 2025.

For more information on the new regulations, visit the FDA’s website.

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