Cigarettes kill more than 7,000 Oregonians each year. After smoking for several decades, I was all too aware of this statistic — but couldn’t quit until I found vaping.
Vapor products are quickly becoming the most common and effective tool to help people quit smoking, according to a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unlike cigarettes, vapor products do not contain the hundreds of chemicals and carcinogens that lead to many diseases. Vaping saved my life, and my shop, Vape Junkies, is helping smokers every day finally kick the habit that is ruining — and taking — their lives.
Yet small businesses across Oregon, like Vape Junkies, are currently being threatened by an outdated regulation: the FDA “deeming rule.” This rule requires any new “tobacco” products that entered the market after 2007 go through a lengthy, expensive reauthorization process. Because vapor technology was still being developed in 2007, virtually every product is subjected to this, which will cost more than $500,000 per product. This is a cost small vapor businesses cannot sustain. Plus, the FDA will only start reviewing the first-generation products years from now — after they are outdated.
Bipartisan legislation called the FDA Deeming Authority Clarification Act (sponsored by Rep. Tom Cole and Rep. Sanford Bishop) modernizes the date for products entering the market by changing it to 2016. This legislation also promotes improved and regulated vapor products, through requiring the FDA to establish clear product standards. Even more, the legislation further strengthens labeling and advertising regulations to keep vapor products out of minors’ hands.
I urge Oregon’s congressional delegation to support Cole-Bishop, and support small business owners and better options for former smokers.