OWASSO - The Food and Drug Administration has announced a slew of proposed regulations on the electronic cigarette industry for the first time ever.
If the proposed rules become finalized, the estimated $2 billion industry will no longer be able to sell to minors, require health warning labels on products, force companies to register with the FDA and report product and ingredient listings and only market new tobacco products after FDA review, among many other things.
Reaction in Tulsa to the regulations was widespread.
Palm Beach Vapors takes the claim as the nation's first franchisor of an electronic cigarette retail concept. The company currently has 13 locations across the U.S.
CEO Chip Paul says the multi-billion dollar industry has existed for years without regulations.
"Basically, it's the Wild Wild West in our industry right now," Paul said.
Paul says the lack of regulation used in the juice that is consumed by people who smoke the vapor is among the chief concerns he has.
"You could put anything in a bottle of juice. You could put Drano in a bottle of juice. You could put Lysol in a bottle of juice... There's no rules or regulations around what goes in a bottle of juice," he explained.
Paul says his products have four ingredients: two food additives, food flavoring and nicotine. He cannot, however speak for his competitors. Paul also says his shops already have a policy in place banning the sale of e-cigs to minors. He says the regulations will help push the irresponsible retailers from the industry.
"The responsible players, like us, really are not going to be affected that much by the regulation, but, you know, the irresponsible ones will be, and that's why we think it's very important."
Like Paul, Paula Warlick of the American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network says the regulations are long overdue.