Now that the horrific year of 2019 is safely behind us, it is time to set our sights on 2020 and the fight that lies ahead.
Yes, the final quarter of 2019 was one filled with stress, threats of federal bans, and enacted vape bans of varying degrees at the state and local levels.
The good news is, we appeared to avoid a total flavor ban at the federal level as it appears the FDA and HHS along with the White House have decided to compromise by only banning flavors in closed systems/pod devices.
However, even though we have just dodged the proverbial bullet, there is another one just around the corner that has the potential to annihilate this industry like no other threat we have faced yet.
That threat, of course, is the PMTA deadline, which is still May of this year.
This means that unless something changes, most of the products that make up this industry will cease to exist in only 5 months.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is that vaping regulation attorney Azim Chowdhury and his firm are currently appealing the decision that pushed the deadline up to May of 2020 and he and his associates are more than qualified to argue in a court of law why this decision needs to be undone.
However, we can’t allow this small group of attorneys to take on this fight on their own.
We must provide them with the support they need.
Our efforts to this point have proven to be effective. The constant barrage of Tweets, phone calls, letters, and emails aimed at the president, his campaign manager, the US Surgeon General, and other elected officials around the country has had a major impact.
In fact, it seems clear that it was a result of these efforts that forced the decision makers at the federal level to take a step back and rectify their initial proposal of banning all flavors for vape products across the board.
We have to keep it up. We cannot take our foot off the gas now.
Continue to Tweet. Continue to call. Continue to email. Just make sure that when you do, you let the recipients know that PMTAs have to be changed or else they will decimate the industry.
Let them know that as it stands now, the PMTA process is nothing more than a flavor ban and if it isn’t changed, those who currently hold office will not get your vote come November.
And keep in mind, by exempting open systems in this recent federal flavor ban, they have admitted that vape products are helping adults quit smoking and that they are far safer than cigarettes. Remind them that it makes little sense to protect these products in January only to turn around and ban them in May.
We can win this battle. We’ve already proven that. We just need to stay the course.