SMALL VAPE SHOPS on the West Coast are about to get a lot easier to get a permit to open or to expand their operations. New United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told federal legislators last week that he’s changing the way the agency handles vaping, cracking down on the sometimes dangerous and misleading marketing tactics of these small shops.
Substances like e-cigarettes and vaping are legal and very popular, and an estimated 1 in 8 Americans currently uses them, but you may have trouble finding them if you’re not familiar with the name vaporizer, inhaler, tobacco, or e-liquid. That could soon change.
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue spoke with the American Enviro Medica about the FDA’s recently announced changes, saying, “There will be a wide variety of flavors and shapes of these products that they will allow. It’s a way to get somebody started.”
The FDA plans to bring in new “targeted regulations,” which will be “streamlined” for small vape shops to meet.
Here’s the plan:
Find out who your best bet is for a new shop location, and if your state has laws restricting where you can open. Go to your state’s website and look for the other state laws that give you the authority to open. Start the process of applying for permits, and make sure you know what you’re doing so you don’t waste your time applying. But don’t forget that one of the most important things you need to do is to understand your state’s law on vaporizer permits, and make sure you do it right. Look for info on your local government website, or check out local health departments. Check for any “may-pass laws” that may give you some power as a vape shop owner. Does this apply to you? Make sure you know what you can and can’t sell, and if you want to educate others on how to use a vaporizer safely, consider a local peer-to-peer-counseling program. Be sure to get your personal vaping device inspected and stored safely. Keep it for use when it’s clean, away from smells, and away from other smokers. They can do this whenever they want to. Then, buy your vaporizer from a reputable retailer. Check the requirements. If you don’t want to go through the whole process of applying for a permit, the FDA says it will give you a special designation. Wait until you know what it entails, then get in contact with the FDA to see if they’ll give you an extension on the initial process. The FDA hopes to eliminate all barriers, and all vaping will be regulated when new rules are instituted.
When you’re not vaping, you can also be good about preventing its use, which could mean shying away from, or working on, quitting tobacco.
Gottlieb told the National Institute on Drug Abuse last week, “We can’t just keep waiting for another national public health crisis to come along to fix the regulatory system we have today. We’re actively taking steps to reform how we regulate and enforce our nation’s laws on tobacco, alcohol, and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).”
More details on the FDA’s new efforts in vaping are available in a press release from the USDA.