“So many people had this notion that the government wouldn’t get involved in their lives or ruin the opportunity for this industry to exist. A very large portion of the industry in our area remained oblivious to the red flags coming up everywhere. It wasn’t until the regulations were nearly in swing that our fellow vapers began to realize the gravity of the situation.” Logan, Co-owner of HoozJuice
August 8, 2016 made such a mark to the e-cigarette industry.Vapers, e-cigarette manufacturers, support groups and associations are uniting to express their opposition to the classification of vapes as a tobacco product.
Under the Tobacco Control Act of 2009, the $3 billion e-cigarette industry which was previously not within the FDA’s jurisdiction will now be under its control. This means that e-cigarettes and other similar products will subject to the same rules and regulations that tobacco products are required to comply with. Additionally, vendors and vaping business owners are required non-disclosure of the possible effects or advantages of using electronic cigarette products.
Not all that was stipulated in this regulation are contested for viable reasons such as banning its use by the minors and providing full disclosure of ingredients and health warnings on product packages and advertisements. As a matter of fact, even before this regulation took effect, some states in the US have already started prohibiting the sale of e-cigarette to people below the legal smoking age.
Vaping products are now subject to the expensive and time-consuming process of Premarket Tobacco Application (PMTA). This is sure to cost companies and small-businesses independent owners at least $300,000 to have a PMTA approved. Additionally, having to register each ingredient for every e-liquid product is not only costly but will surely reduce the number of the currently high volume of flavor options available to consumers. A lot of vaping businesses are family owned running small operations with one or two branches. Unfortunately, only a few vaping companies. The cost required by the PMTA will unfortunately only be afforded by big chains and franchises.
In a quest to see what this regulation means to e-cigarette business owners, we at Nicmaxx blog invited Logan, the co-owner of HoozJuiceto talk about their perceived effects on the new FDA ruling and how the current standing of e-cigarettes and vaping products as a business and as a product.
HoozJuiceis an e-liquid company that creates and blends delicious and unique vaping liquid at affordable prices and cater to a market who would like to spend less than the average amount on their juices. The juice they sell are custom and are made in a state-of-the-art, industrial-type vape kitchen in Alabama.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is a full transcript of our e-mail interview with the HoozJuice. Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the HoozJuice and do not represent the Nicmaxx website and team.
Nicmaxx (N): Can you please give us an overview of the current regulation and policies covering vapes in the US which you think is most significant to your state?
HoozJuice (H): An overview is a bit difficult to provide considering the sheer magnitude of regulations currently in place. Essentially, the vaping industry is being regulated in a way that was not designed to regulate e-cigs. The hurdles in place are anything but constructive, and they severely limit the progression of technology.
The regulation that will impact our state most significantly is most likely the classification as a tobacco product. It opens the door for many more regulatory actions and policies that may be detrimental to the industry in the state including but not limited to: unfair taxation, untenable requirements regarding licensing, etcetera.
Another problem we are now facing is a freedom of information. Vendors are no longer allowed to inform consumers about certain aspects we are often asked about, and vendors are no longer allowed to aid customers with devices that have become problematic. I fear that many of the products consumers have become accustomed to (the ones that are easier to use and require less knowledge to handle properly) will soon be unobtainable. This will leave many would-be vapers in the dark about the products they are using, how to use said products, and where to turn if they have questions.
N: How important are reduced harm alternatives to public health especially to tobacco smokers?
H: In my opinion, reduced harm is currently the most important thing we can take a look at. Obviously, harm prevention would be most optimal, and I think as a nation we’re doing a decent job laying out all the problems that can happen. Unfortunately, some folks don’t get the message clearly and begin down a path of harmful life choices, and it is absolutely pertinent that we provide them with a support system to reduce the harm they cause themselves and those around them. This does not apply solely to tobacco smokers, but any individual whom has made an unhealthy life choice.
N: How do you think should the government and health agencies view the emergence of e-cigs?
H: Frankly, I think that the powers are a bit scared of the industry. It’s this “magic juju” that people are suddenly doing instead of smoking cigarettes, and I imagine the general consensus is that it’s bad. Officials that I have spoken to almost always come back to a single question, “What about the children?” as if no one is taking any precautionary steps to reduce the amount of products obtained by minors.
I would also like to mention the revenue gap that may be caused by e-cigs. Currently, any individual who is using an electronic nicotine delivery device is mitigating the taxes associated with traditional tobacco consumption. Some states have imposed taxes, but it is not an across the nation tax as of yet; the classification as a tobacco product in recent regulations may be enough to further encourage strong “sin-tax” in the coming months across the nation.
N: What are the major obstacles you’ve faced in your advocacy and operating a vape shop?
H: The primary obstacle we’ve faced has actually been negligence/ignorance in the vaping community. So many people had this notion that the government wouldn’t get involved in their lives or ruin the opportunity for this industry to exist. A very large portion of the industry in our area remained oblivious to the red flags coming up everywhere. It wasn’t until the regulations were nearly in swing that our fellow vapers began to realize the gravity of the situation. This caused us to get a bit of a late start, but, luckily, there were individuals in the state already advocating for our cause (shameless plug for the BEAA, Breathe Easy Alliance of Alabama) before HoozJuice was even a concept. We joined up early, and have done what’s within our power to aid advocacy as much as possible.
While we don’t operate a shop (we are strictly a liquid company), our biggest obstacle was definitely exposure. Various entities limited our ability to advertise our company in the early days which slightly hindered our growth. Once we really got rolling, advertising became even stricter, but we have a strong fan base and continue to grow by word of mouth and regular business practices.
N: Vaping has been around for some years, but many people are yet to understand what it’s about. What do you think is the biggest myth about vaping?
H: Oh boy, I wish I could really lay into this one. Unfortunately, I am legally not allowed to describe an abundance of truths about vaping due to recent regulations. I encourage individuals to do their own research and come to conclusions on their own. There are plenty of papers published related to vaping.
N: Many studies are coming out on the hazards of vaping to the body, among other health concerns. What is your take on these scientific studies?
H: In my opinion, we should scrutinize every bit of information we receive regardless of whether it is in line with our current beliefs or not. I believe there are plenty of solid studies out there, but it takes a little digging to determine the validity of the study in question. There are valid studies for both sides of argument. There is an old saying “An honest man will eventually be presented with evidence he is wrong. At this point, he will either cease to be wrong or cease to be honest.”
N: What is your general advice on the use of e-cigs by teens and younger people?
H: Any product marketed to adults is for adults. Younger people will always try to find ways to exploit systems in place, and it is our job as product vendors to catch these exploitations when possible and keep products out of the hands of younger people.
My general advice is don’t start smoking in any way, shape, or form.
N: What is your message to the organizations/institutions that support vaping? How about the organizations/institutions that oppose vaping?
H: For those that support our industry, thank you. I can’t say it enough. We appreciate your continued support through our times of trial.
For those that oppose our industry, I can appreciate many of the concerns raised by you and your affiliates. I would strongly encourage you to examine credible research related to the industry. We are doing our best to keep everyone happy and out of the dark.
HoozJuice is an e-liquid company dedicated to producing a mouth-watering product that won’t make your wallet cry. Check out their About Us page https://www.hoozjuice.com/ for more info on their company and their message.