Local e-cigarette company CEO, Cancer Action Network respond to FDA proposed regulations

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.

RELATED:  FDA proposes first regulations for e-cigarettes: Ban sales to minors, require warning labels

Reaction in Tulsa to the regulations was widespread.

From the American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network to the CEO of Palm Beach Vapors , news of the proposed regulations was met with positivity.

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.

"Over the past five years, we've really seen access to these products -- especially among youth -- rise dramatically. We've always viewed it as a tobacco product, so today's ruling of the FDA is something that we've been waiting for," she said.
 
Again like Paul, Warlick says most consumers don't know what they're inhaling.
 
"Nobody knows where they're made, how they're made, what's really in them, the claims that they make. There's so many things and so this long-awaited ruling really will help with that," Warlick said.
 
Both Paul and Warlick say this is a good start for industry regulations, but Warlick says the FDA missed the boat in terms of tighter regulations on juice.
 
"We think that they should have come out with tighter regulations around juice. So for instance, nicotine mixing in a base mixture should be done in a lab, in a laboratory environment."
 
The proposed rules will be available for public comment for 75 days, and the FDA will field data, research and comments from the public and the electronic cigarette industry. Following, it will issue a final decision in the future.
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