Lawmakers of the Republican Party have called on Vice President-elect Mike Pence to stop a current regulation that could seriously hurt the players of the electronic cigarette industry. As noted by Senator Ron Johnson and Representative Duncan Hunter in a letter to Pence, this policy, which was approved by President Barack Obama’s administration, not only affects the industry but also consumers who are looking for safer alternatives to conventional cigarettes.
The new regulation was recently implemented in August of this year. Under this rule, the Food and Drug Administration now requires e-cigarette companies to go through a strict and costly approval process for their products that have been available in the market since February of 2007.
From the time the regulation took effect, companies have 12 months to submit an exemption request and 18 months to forward an application indicating the product’s market availability. Aside from these, companies also have another 24 months for their product’s pre-market approval.
In total, companies could be looking at spending over $1 million to go through the approval process for each of their products. At this cost, many e-cigarette companies are in danger of closing for good since many of them are operated by small business owners.
Johnson and Hunter stressed that the implementation of this regulation could eventually lead to the death of a new and growing industry. They then called on Pence and the incoming administration under Donald Trump’s leadership to repeal or at least suspend the regulation until all legislative and executive options are reviewed.
“If the FDA’s overreach goes unchecked, then thousands of jobs and small businesses will disappear,” the two lawmakers wrote according to The Hill. “To reign in the regulatory overreach of the Obama administration, it is necessary to consider all appropriate executive and legislative options to ease the burdens on job creators and innovators.”