The first week of May, 2016 has been a monumental week in the tobacco industry on the Federal level as there has been an increase in anti-tobacco regulation.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has had the authority to regulate cigarettes and roll your own tobacco products since 2009. However, the FDA did not have the authority to regulate e-cigarettes until now. On May 5, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration made the announcement about their final rule on the treatment of e-cigarettes. Under the ruling, e-cigarettes will be regulated in the same way cigarettes and tobacco products are. Until now, e-cigarettes were not regulated by the FDA and there was no federal law to prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes, hookah tobacco, or cigars to people under 18. This ruling will now help the FDA to protect the public health by having the authority to prevent misleading claims by tobacco product manufacturers, evaluate the ingredients of tobacco products, as well as communicate their risks to consumers.
The Federal government has a focus on eliminating the use of e-cigarettes by teenagers as this has been an increasing issue. With the new Federal regulation, people under the age of 18 won’t be able to buy these products. Currently, not all states forbid minors from purchasing e-cigarettes. Additionally, until now there was no law requiring manufacturers to list the ingredients of the oil, which has allowed manufacturers to put many toxic and harmful chemicals in the e-cigarette oil. The new rule requires companies to show what is in their products. Additionally, companies will be required to register with the Food and Drug Administration and put health warnings on their packages and in their ads. Overall, this type of regulation has been much needed since the first e-cigarettes and is a successful step towards protecting the public health.
Of course there are those opposed to this ruling which include the President of the American Vaping Association, Gregory Conley. He stated that this ruling will put thousands of small businesses out of business in the next few years. He hopes that the rule can be changed by Congress or the courts. He predicts companies will file lawsuits that could delay implementation of parts of the law for decades.
About the Author: In his law practice Mr. Donnini's primary practice is multi-state sales and use tax as well as state corporate income tax controversy. Mr. Donnini also practices in the areas of federal tax controversy, federal estate planning, Florida probate, and all other state taxes including communication service tax, cigarette & tobacco tax, motor fuel tax, and Native American taxation. Mr. Donnini obtained his LL.M. in Taxation at NYU. Mr. Donnini is licensed to practice law in Florida. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact him via email [email protected] or phone at 954-639-4496.