One down, three to go. Without some radical, last-minute change, the Cole-Bishop amendment to curtail U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations for the vapor industry will not be included in the U.S. Government’s 2017 budget. U.S. Congressional leaders reached a deal on a more than $1 trillion spending bill that would fund the government at updated levels through the end of September. The bill is expected to pass both the Senate and House this week and would still need to be signed by President Trump.
There is still plenty of hope for the industry, however. There are still three possibilities that could change or invalidate the FDA’s deeming rule. A vote on whether to move forward with “coordination” is expected today in Hartland, Wisconsin (see update soon on vaporvoicemagazine.com). Federal and state statutes require administrative agencies to “coordinate” with local governments in developing and implementing plans, policies and management actions. These statutes create a process allowing local governments to have an equal voice in negotiations, especially on issues related to a community’s economic stability, and social and cultural cohesiveness.
Also, Nicopure Labs still has an ongoing lawsuit in federal court. In its original filing, Nicopure claimed the FDA’s rulemaking process violated the Administrative Procedure Act, and that the deeming rule violates the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Then there is Rep. Duncan Hunter’s Cigarette Smoking Reduction and Electronic Vapor Alternatives Act, which would weaken the FDA’s deeming rule and remove vapor from standards set by the Tobacco Control Act for traditional cigarettes. Any of the three options would represent a major victory for the $4.4 billion U.S. vaping industry.