Will the FDA Create A Vaping Black Market?

A new study looks at vapers' plans if the FDA succeeds in banning 99.9% of vapor products

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Trouble Ahead

Vapers won't obey an unjust law

Vapers will turn to the black market for vapor products if the deeming regulations stand after court challenges and attempts to modify them through Congressional action fail. That’s the finding of a new study by the Center for Substance Use Research (CSUR).

The Glasgow, Scotland-based organization surveyed 9,040 American vapers. 8,451 of the participants were ex-smokers who currently vape, 282 were current smokers and vapers, and 307 were current vapers who never smoked. According to a CSUR press release, participants were asked what they would do if the products they currently use were removed from the market because of the FDA regulations.

About 75 percent of participants said they would stock up on products before the restrictions take effect. Almost that many said they would buy from unlicensed sources, 66 percent would buy from overseas suppliers, and 65 percent said they would mix their own e-liquid. Fewer than 20 percent of those questioned planned on using FDA-approved products.

Worryingly, 15 percent of the former smokers questioned said that they would likely go back to smoking tobacco cigarettes if the e-cigarettes they are currently using were no longer being sold. In addition, 33 percent of current smokers said they would likely smoke more tobacco, and 10 percent of non-smokers who currently use e-cigarettes said they would be more likely to start smoking, if they find themselves in a situation where they cannot buy their preferred e-cigarette products.

Dr. Christopher Russell from the Centre for Substance Use Research who led the research, commented that, “This research shows there is an enormous gulf between the expressed intentions of the FDA and what many e-cigarette users see as being the likely impact of the regulations. The regulators’ aims of improving the quality standards in e-cigarette production, improving the accuracy of labeling, ensuring the safety of e-cigarettes, and to reducing young people’s access to e-cigarettes are all laudable aims in themselves. However, if in the wake of these regulations, significant numbers of e-cigarette users turn to the black-market to source their preferred products, then the positive impact of the regulations will have been diminished and significant harm could be caused to those users. It is vitally important that FDA and policy makers recognise the harms that would potentially be caused if, after August 8th 2018, the majority of current e-cigarette users sampled, who may represent many millions more, act on their expressed intentions to pursue ways to continue to using e-cigarette products that are taken off the licit market by the FDA’s Deeming Rule.”

According to Dr. Russell, “There is a clear need for the FDA to monitor the impact of these rules to identify whether these adverse effects are occurring and, if they are, to consider reconfiguring the regulations. Clearly it is not in anybody’s interests to drive the population of current e-cigarette users towards the black market.”

Need some inspiration?

Dr. Russell of the CSUR has conducted several surveys of vapers. We wrote about his United States Vapers’ Survey in May. He also has a YouTube channel that is downright inspiring. Vapers Helping Smokers to Quit showcases ex-smokers talking on camera about quitting with e-cigs. Any vaper who gets discouraged by the struggles we’re going through should have a look, and revisit the real reason we care so much about protecting the future of vaping.

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Jim McDonald
I spend most of my time studying the regulatory, legislative and scientific challenges to vaping, advocating for our right to exist, and talking with others who do the same. Consider me a source for information, and feel free to agree or disagree with anything I say. I love good coffee and sweet Michigan cherries. My childhood hero was Gordie Howe.
  • Peder Ceen

    will the fda ruling effect the world or certain parts ? dirty snakes using negative health impact as a unjust and un-evident argument whilst probably getting bribes all sides from tobacco and smoking cessation companies

    • Dave @ Vaping 360

      The FDA is exclusive to the United States, however their ruling will have an effect on the industry and may make it harder to gain access to certain products in the future.

      • Jim McDonald

        Whatever the FDA does is also influential with government public health agencies elsewhere. Many countries look to the US as a role model.

    • Peder Ceen

      Thanks guys for the info, I guess its a double edged sword with both progression and regression but alas only by fighting back can we help form a better understanding of Vaping and other new found fast pacing technologies for the public and governing bodies alike

  • Biggy

    I make my own eliquid, that’s one thing fda won’t stop, I make it for my own personal use.