There’s quite a number of pros and cons of using vape kits, especially in comparison to conventional cigarettes. Despite the overall improvement in health many individuals experience upon making the switch, e-cigarettes are still often subject to regulation, along with other tobacco- or cannabis-based products. If you vape regularly, even enthusiastically, you might be aware of some of these regulations. While they may not directly affect you, they do have an impact on the vaping and e-cigarette industry itself. This, of course, means that some effects will trickle down to you, the consumer.
The FDA has released a number of announcements restricting the use of tobacco and smoking products over the years, but one of the most recent and consequential is the PMTA deadline. This decision is likely to have a heavy impact on the small businesses that make up the industry, and may even affect your local smoke shop or vape supplier. Read on to learn about PTMA and how it might affect you.
What Is A PMTA?
A PMTA, or pre-market tobacco application, is an application that manufacturers have to submit to the FDA in order to keep selling or promoting their products. The initial deadline for submitting this application was in March, but tobacco companies successfully lobbied the FDA to have the deadline extended due to the current pandemic. The deadline has since passed, back in the beginning of September. If you are curious if your favourite vape shop is PMTA registered, you may browse the database at https://vaperanger.com/blogs/guides/pmta-registered-vape-brands to find out.
What Do Companies Have To Submit For A PMTA?
Despite being required of a lot of young companies, the requirements for a PMTA are quite strenuous. The FDA has released a full guide of what is required, but the basic rundown includes the following:
- A detailed explanation of the manufacturing process
- Product samples
- The results of any scientific analysis performed on the product
- Common uses and usage patterns in consumers
- Potential for misuse, including a detailed breakdown of any potential dangers the product poses.
- A breakdown of how the product appeals to consumers, especially youth
This application is intended to be selective and may end up being intensely so. In addition to the difficulty involved in providing these materials, the cost of accumulating what is needed for a PMTA could cost a company between USD$120,000 and USD$460,000. This cost may end up shuttering some smaller manufacturers and sellers for good.
How Will PMTAs Affect Vaping?
In the law surrounding these new applications, companies with products on the market before February of 2007 were able to go through a simpler process, whereas some companies, such as cigarette producers, were grandfathered in to the system. Unfortunately, vaping was still a relatively new thing in 2007, which means that a lot of the companies facing the biggest setback from these new requirements are vaping and e-cigarette sellers and manufacturers.
For small business owners, this process can be daunting, even restrictive. And, it won’t just affect the sales of kits. The FDA has placed a number of other vaping-related products under the same umbrella. This includes drip tips, atomizers, and e-liquids of all flavours and nicotine levels.
A lot of the focus of these PMTAs is on discouraging youth consumers from picking up vaping. The focus is mostly on flavoured e-liquids and advertising imagery so that companies don’t market potentially harmful products and don’t try to encourage younger clients to begin using nicotine, even through e-cigarettes. Many larger companies with up-to-date manufacturing processes, unproblematic marketing imagery, and adequate financial resources to cover the cost of the applications should make the cut.
But, on a whole, this decision threatens to diminish the variety of products available to avid vape users. Beyond this, there will be economic effects within the industry. Some 14,000 smaller vaping companies are at risk of closure because of the PMTA process as some don’t even have the resources to file a proper PMTA. This could mean thousands of people working within the industry may soon find themselves without a job.
Looking To The Future Of Vaping
Ironically, this decision is likely to favor large tobacco companies with years of experience, narrowing the playing field and making it harder for smaller businesses to survive. It will also impact the range of products and stores vapers now have to choose from. However, the PMTA process is far from the end for vaping. Instead, it may signal an increase in regulations regarding vaping, while also helping to ensure better quality products for consumers down the line.