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FDA Vapor Announcement Explained

ipcprlogoThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently announced a flurry of policy directives specifically targeting e-cigarettes or “vapor” products. So what exactly has the FDA announced, and what is the impact or potential impact on IPCPR’s retailers? We’ll unpack both questions below.

 What Exactly Did the FDA Announce?

The FDA rolled out an action plan specifically targeting vapor products and what the agency has identified as an “epidemic” level of product use amongst teenagers. This plan includes:

  • Potential removal of vapor products from the market until a pre-market application is reviewed and approved. This is a reversal of FDA’s comprehensive plan on tobacco announced in July, ’17;
  • Required responses of the top 5 selling vapor product brands to provide detailed action plans on how they will combat and mitigate youth use of their products. This could include the voluntary removal of flavored products from the market;
  • Investigating whether vapor products may be on the market illegally;
  • Continued aggressive brick-and-mortar and online store inspections, underage stings and enforcement actions to combat underage sales, and
  • Launching a multi-million dollar media blitz discouraging youth use of vapor products.

All-in-all, the FDA announcement threatens action that could seriously limit what vapor products remain on the market and promises increased enforcement against manufacturers and retailers of these products who are not adhering to current regulations.

 So What Does This Mean for IPCPR Retailers?

If you do not sell any vapor products in your store, then the FDA’s announcement will have little if any direct impact on you. HOWEVER – it is important that every IPCPR member retailer strictly adhere to the federal, state and local age and ID verification requirements for product sales, including premium cigars and pipe tobacco. Please note that:

  • If you do sell vapor products, be aware that the Agency is aggressively inspecting vapor retailers. Ensure you and your staff have written and enacted a strict age and ID verification policy, including staff training, and
  • The FDA has recommended vapor manufacturers cease sales to retailers who have received civil monetary penalties during the prior 12 months.

Premium Cigars and Youth Usage

IPCPR recently submitted comments to the FDA that highlight government sponsored and managed studies on premium cigars and other tobacco products. This data definitively shows that youth use of premium cigars and pipe tobacco is so minimal to the point that it is “statistically insignificant.” IPCPR and its member retailers firmly oppose the purchase and use of all tobacco products by minors and will continue to comply with federal, state and local requirements to ensure this does not happen.

For any additional questions regarding the FDA’s announcement or requirements under the deeming regulations, please contact Daniel Trope, IPCPR Senior Director of Federal Government Affairs at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..