A Time Magazine - US Law report reveals that the White House weakened restrictions on electronic cigarettes proposed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Published documents show that the White House deleted restrictions that might have prevented online sales of e-cigs and e-liquids.
Emily Cain, a spokeswoman for White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said that as with any rule, OMB's office of information and regulatory affairs conducted an inter-agency review process "to ensure that the regulations through which agencies implement policies are efficient, well-designed to achieve their objectives, and based upon the best available evidence."
"It is routine for agencies to make changes to their draft rules during the course of OMB review," she added. "The goal is to maximize the effectiveness and benefit of the rules we complete."
According to a Reuters article, FDA spokeswoman Jennifer Haliski said the FDA does not comment on changes to a proposal during the review process but said the period for the public to comment on the proposal is still open until August 8. The FDA already has jurisdiction over regulation of regular cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco but must issue new rules before having the same jurisdiction over e-cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, water pipes and other tobacco products. Back in April, the FDA submitted to Congress a proposal that would subject the over 2-billion dollar e-cig industry to federal regulations for the first time.
In this draft the FDA had proposed a prohibition of non-face-to-face sales (vending machines). This clause could have led to the ban of online sales, but the OMB edited the clause so that only sales by vending machines would be explicitly prohibited. In addition, the OMB re-worded FDA concerns over the safety of e-cigarettes including the manufacturing quality.
Just last week, the deadline for public comment on the FDA's proposed regulations was extended. The previous deadline had been July 9th. The FDA extended the time frame for public comment 30 days which ends now on August 8th. Public opinion and comments have the potential to impact how the FDA proceeds with its restrictions on the booming electronic cig and e-liquid manufacturing industry.
Let Your Voice Be Heard - Click Here to Comment on the Proposed FDA Regulations for E-Cigarettes and E-Liquid. The E-Cig Industry - shop owners, manufacturers, and consumers are relying on you to provide your input into this rule-making process to ensure fair, reasonable regulations.