The future of vaping in 2018 really depends on where you live, and because of the huge differences in laws and regulations from country to country, and even state to state, this is meant to be a more broad overview of vaping in the US from the Federal standpoint.
Last year we received some minor reprieve from the FDA's deeming rules, as they pushed back some of the timelines for implementing the "deeming regulations", most importantly they delayed the final step of requiring all companies and products to be submitted for a PMTA (pre-market tobacco application) until 2022. The PMTA as it stands now, is a literal death sentence for our industry, so the delay gives us time to get the necessary support in congress to get laws passed that could prevent a future shut down.
So what's 2018 hold in store? Well, it's really anyone's guess and depending on who you ask, you'll get different answers and opinions. I've always appreciated what Carl V. Phillips brings to the discussion on vaping and it's future.
(NOTE: Carl V Phillips brings a background unique among THR researchers and advocates. He is an award-winning researcher in epidemiology methods (how to correctly interpret epidemiologic data), as well as being an economist, and has a strong background in epistemology, ethics, and other fields. He's an independent researcher and consultant, and Scientific Director of CASAA.. Check out his blog https://antithrlies.com/ )
In a recent article he wrote for the Daily Vaper, he talks about the new Heat Not Burn, IQOS, system that is set to hit the market hard in 2018. This device could prove a formidable opponent to the vaping industry as we know it. Why an opponent? Well, it's made and sold by tobacco companies and it's not the "vape" we know and think of. It literally uses cigarettes but heats them to the point of vaping, but not burning the tobacco, thus eliminating most of the harmful chemicals found in traditional smoking. It could prove to be an interesting dynamic in the discussion of regulations in the US. Read more here: http://dailyvaper.com/2017/12/29/2018-outlook-will-vaping-go-the-way-of-linux/
Than, there's the FDA and state level flavor bans. Tobacco flavor bans are gaining popularity in local cities, most notably California. That shouldn't come as a surprise though, CA and NY are the ultimate nanny states when it comes to laws regulating people's behaviors. More concerning however, is a recently filed notice from the FDA discussing flavoring. This is troubling. As Carl discusses in his article, the FDA has a couple options to consider when it comes to flavoring, but the one option that makes most sense to them, eliminate non-tobacco flavors. http://dailyvaper.com/2017/12/22/will-fda-ban-all-non-tobacco-vapor-flavors-2/
This idea, the flavor ban, in my opinion is an extremely slippery slope from all perspectives. The FDA is responsible for regulating vaping. They are held to the task by Congress, who is constantly playing a game for lobbyist and votes, so catch phrases like "kid friendly flavors" and "gateway to smoking" are a very real issue for the FDA, even if statistics and science don't support these phrases. So what do they do? Regulate the amount of flavoring allowed? The type of flavoring? Or the manner in which the flavors are marketed? Who or how do they determine what those kind of regulations look like? Or just ban non-tobacco flavors completely. Unfortunately, the last option seems most realistic.
But..... but..... how the hell do you make vape taste like a cigarette? How do you make something taste like something it's not? That, to me, also seems like a serious issue posed to be answered in the courts. We'll we just have to watch and wait.
Outside of these two issues we face in 2018, the most notable one that has already impacted all of us and will continue, is taxes! 2018 already as new taxes being proposed and voted on for vapor products. It IS going to happen, so as always it's recommended you join CASAA today and stay up to date on vaping regulations and let your voice and vote be heard in your local community.
For Trabuco, we will continue to offer our products as long as there are smokers that need to switch, or vapers that use them to keep off the stinky sticks.
Cheers to 2018!