Vape shops facing uncertainty

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Vape shops facing uncertainty

May 9, 2016

Local vape shop operators, whether chain or mom and pop, have known for several years that federal regulators wanted their business to go up in smoke — and not in a good way.
Yet, most of the vape shops contacted by the Winston-Salem Journal were not sure how to react to the final regulatory rules disclosed May 5 by tbarhe U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Some operators expressed surprise that their products — electronic cigarettes, water pipe/hookahs and vaporizers — were at risk for being shelved if they don’t meet new regulations that go into effect Aug. 8, according to an article in the North Carolina-based Winston-Salem Journal.

Many of the smaller vape shops make their liquid nicotine on the premises or order it from suppliers.The FDA is requiring that products from all three categories that debuted after Feb. 15, 2007, undergo a heightened regulatory review process to determine whether the product has a negative impact on public health unless there is a substantially equivalent product available before that predicate date.

The FDA allows for up to a three-year exception for products whose manufacturer enters the regulatory gauntlet by Aug. 8.

Preston Puckett, with the Avail store in Winston-Salem, said he believes the company likely has the financial resources to comply with the FDA standards. Avail, based in Richmond, has more than 70 stores in six states, including two in Greensboro and one each in Burlington and Winston-Salem.

“But I can see a lot of little shops going away because of the regulatory costs,” Puckett said. “The local market is pretty saturated as it is. We all want the products to be safe to the consumer, so we’re not opposed to additional regulations.”

Puckett said he can envision some of the smaller vape shops selling all their supplies before the Aug. 8 time frame for new regulations. “They’ll try to make as much money as they can if they determine they can’t afford the review costs,” Puckett said.

Category: Breaking News

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