Since electronic cigarettes arrived in the United States, there has been hot debate regarding their regulation. State, county and city governments have enacted laws restricting everything from the sale to the consumption of ecigs. While regional statutes are being passed on what seems like a daily basis, the FDA has been working toward ecig regulation on a federal level.
A proposed rule was handed down by the FDA in April 2014, but this legislation has yet to be finalized. In the meantime, several members of congress continue to lobby against ecigs and your freedom to enjoy them. We’ve compiled a list of the five most vocal legislators working against the ecig industry; if you live within their jurisdictions, we encourage you to share your thoughts with them regarding the proposed rule. The FDA has a final action scheduled for June 2015 which could impact just how, what and when you vape.
1. Dick Durbin
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin is the Senate’s second ranking Democrat. In addition to restricting flavors, Durbin and seven colleagues want ecigs included in a combustible cigarette ban on the Hill. Let’s repeat that, in case you missed it: Senator Dick Durbin is working to include combustion-free ecigs in the combustible cigarette ban on Capitol Hill.
2. Chuck Schumer
Charles “Chuck” Schumer, a Democrat and senior United States Senator from New York, shares Dick Durbin’s opposition to ecig flavors. He and Durbin are trying to limit or ban your access to e-liquid and cartridge flavors.
3. Richard Blumenthal
Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut is another congressional member whose agenda includes the restriction of ecig and vaporizer use. Not content with just banning flavors, Senator Blumenthal is trying shut down online sales of ecigs altogether. If he succeeds, this could significantly impact both the cost and accessibility of electronic cigarettes.
4. Tom Harkin
Iowa Senator and Democrat, Tom Harkin joined other members of congress in June 2014 to pen a letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx regarding the use of ecigs on airplanes. The letter called for finalization and enactment of a proposed 2011 rule that would make vaping on a US-based airplane illegal; citing conjecture as the basis for the ban. Currently, there are no domestic airline carriers that allow ecigs to be used on-board an aircraft.
5. Edward J. Markey
Massachusetts Representative Ed Markey is a democrat and another supporter of an official ban on airplane ecig use. He’s also trying to regulate roller coasters. (We bet he’s a lot of fun at parties.)
One of the biggest issues common to all ecig opponents, it seems, are flavors. There is no shortage of rhetoric claiming electronic cigarette makers use flavors to attract youth – all of it, unfounded. Ecig flavors reflect adult tastes and are found in a wide variety of adults-only products, most notably, alcohol. If these politicians are successful in their attempt to limit your freedom to enjoy ecigs, the result could impact both the availability and price of electronic cigarettes.
What are your thoughts on the proposed ecig regulations? Tell us in the comments section or on the V2 Facebook page.