The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it “expects that most vape shops will stop mixing e-liquids“ because if they continue to do so they will fall under the definition of “tobacco product manufacturer” and have to submit detailed scientific data on the products.
Around 4250 vape stores would currently meet that definition, the agency believes.
“We expect that most vape shops will continue to operate but those that have not already switched [to] pure retailing will likely do so” in the first years after the regulations come into force, says the FDA.
The definition of a tobacco product manufacturer is set out in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act, where the term is described as covering “any person, including any repacker or relabeler, who manufactures, fabricates, assembles, processes, or labels a tobacco product”.
The regulations may even prevent vape stores from rebranding e-liquids manufactured by others.
In listing the activities that constitute manufacture, the FD&C act mentions “repackaging, or otherwise changing the container, wrapper or labeling of any tobacco product package from the original place of manufacture to the person who makes the final delivery or sale to the ultimate consumer or user”.
The FDA plans to start enforcing the rules on vape stores that fall within the definition of “manufacturer” around the beginning of 2019.
Also affecting vape stores will be the prohibition on free sampling, although it may be possible to legally hand out samples of zero-nicotine e-liquids to allow consumers to try different flavours.
– ECigIntelligence staff
Graphic: Carl Gamble