October 28, 2013

As FDA Regs Loom, Some Want Reduced Competition

As we approach the deadline for the FDA's e-cigarette regulations to be approved by the OMB, more speculation is mounting about what that will look like. In an article peppered with input from famed prohibitionist you'd expect a lot of rhetoric, especially in anything with input from Professor Glantz. However, it seems that some e-cigarette companies are all for restrictions that would protect their interests at the cost of competitors.

Industry appears largely to welcome the FDA’s proposed rule in that it will level the playing field.

“Since the rules apply to everybody, that is a fair and equitable environment in which to conduct business,” [Logic CEO] Martin said. “An environment where the FDA does regulate the sale and marketing of products is a good thing.”

Once regulated, “[e-cigarette companies] are going to have to follow things like registration, product listing, ingredient listing, good manufacturing requirements, there'll be the user fees, adulteration and misbranding provisions will fall into place…FDA can come in and inspect facilities,” Malkin noted. “It's a big change from what they have now.”

But wait, it gets even better from the president of Mistic, a brand available at Wal-Mart stores around the country.

Internet sales ought to be done away with because of the difficulty of age verification, suggested John Wiesehan, Jr., CEO of Ballantyne Brands, which makes Mistic brand e-cigarettes.

From a business standpoint, I get where these guys are coming from. It's dirty, but getting the government to do your wet work of eliminating a big swath of competitors is an awful tempting carrot. The problem is that when you get into bed with something like this, you never know what kind of blowback you might see in the future.

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