A coalition of 23 organizations have written a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to follow the common-sense recommendations of the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA had recommended companies seek a court order to allow vaping manufacturers to keep products on the market while their premarket tobacco product application (PMTA) submissions are being reviewed.
Due to the large volume of PMTAs submitted—the FDA says it received more than 6 million applications— the FDA has stated publicly that it is unlikely that the agency will be able to process all submissions before manufacturers are required to pull their products off the market. All products must be removed from market on Sept. 9, 2022 without FDA approval, according to a court order.
The coalition letter, organized by the Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) acknowledged that FDA promised to exercise discretion in enforcement, stating that “this does not provide the degree of certainty necessary for businesses who have complied with all relevant regulations and have not received authorization due to processing delays by FDA. If an extension is not granted, there could be devastating consequences for businesses, particularly small businesses. Furthermore, any potential reduction in the supply of safe alternatives to tobacco could have a negative impact on public health across the United States and lead to an increase in tobacco-related mortality.”
The letter also argues that there “millions of consumers who depend on ENDS products for their health and thousands of businesses who depend on these products for their livelihood are threatened by this needless bureaucratic uncertainty.” The coalition states that the only way to avert a disastrous outcome for businesses and consumers is for the FDA to obtain a court order allowing it to extend the existing moratorium on enforcement by another year.
“The vaping industry, unlike many others, was created by small businesses, and these same small businesses continue to drive innovation in the market,” the coalition letter states. “Without these entrepreneurs, the vape industry will be consolidated into a few large corporations, causing prices to rise and consumer choice to decrease.”
The full letter and list of signatories can be read here.