The Food and Drug Administration will regulate e-cigarettes as it does cigarettes and other tobacco products under a rule finalized Thursday that angered industry and people who use vaping products as an alternative to smoking.
FDA said all tobacco products brought to the market after Feb. 15, 2007 — which includes all e-cigarettes — must submit applications to FDA and show they don’t pose any new health risks beyond products that were on the market at that time.
The final tobacco “deeming” rule sticks with the grandfathering date in the Tobacco Control Act of 2009, which gave FDA its expanded authority over tobacco. The e-cigarette lobby had been fighting for the date to be moved up so that the products on the market now would be exempt.
Companies that introduced tobacco products since then will have two years to submit an application to the agency demonstrating they pose no new risks — a bar smaller players in the e-cigarette market say will put them out of business.
The rule will do nothing to advance public health but will “yank responsibly manufactured vapor products from the hands of adult smokers and replace them with the tobacco cigarettes they had been trying to give up,” said Tony Abboud, national legislative director for the Vapor Technology Association.
Lobbyists for premium cigars had lobbied hard for an exemption from the new policy, but they also were given no quarter in the final rule.
The rule was first proposed nearly two years ago. Anti-smoking advocate organizations had worried the Obama administration would water it down in the face of intense lobbying.