EAST BRUNSWICK - Hundreds of electronic cigarette brands will have to seek federal permission to stay on the market under new rules that have the potential to upend a multibillion-dollar industry attempting to position itself as an alternative to traditional cigarettes.
E-cigarettes turn nicotine into an inhalable liquid vapor. Their benefits and harms haven't been extensively studied.
The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday released long-awaited rules that bring the burgeoning industry under federal oversight.
"Manufacturers of newly regulated products will be required to show just what is in the products and that they're suitable for the marketplace,” says U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell.
Among other steps, the FDA rules limit e-cigarette sales to minors and require new health warnings. In a move vigorously opposed by manufacturers, the agency said manufacturers would have to seek permission to remain on the market under a multi-tiered system. Those that don't submit the required information could have their products taken off the market.
Russell Jurczyk, owner of Gorilla Vape in East Brunswick, tells News 12 New Jersey that he is OK with the FDA involvement. He says that most upstanding stores already self-regulate.
However, he says that he does wonder about the true motivation behind the new rules.
“There is a lot of money being spent with lobbies trying to make us go away, the vapor industry, because we are taking away retail dollars of tobacco stores,” Jurczyk says.
The American Vaping Association says that some of the rules will be costly and could put many smaller companies out of business.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.