The US are the biggest vaping market in the world, but things may change soon. Lack of regulation and strong marketing campaigns have caused both the rise and fall of the sector. The new regulation, that’s strongly wanted by the FDA, imposes now unaffordable costs for the majority of vaping companies. In this very delicate scenario, big tobacco’s enter the sector with their big resources, preparing to win easily.
Let’s summarize in a timeline some of the most important events starting from the e-cig entering in the US market.
- 2006-2007: the e-cig starts being marketed in the US;
- 2013: the industry is worth $2 billion in the US; in the absence of market regulation, $15.7 million was spent on e-cigarette advertising by US manufacturers in the first quarter of 2013 alone;
- August 2016: deeming regulation for tobacco products becomes effective;
- July 2017: a new comprehensive plan for tobacco and nicotine regulation is announced by FDA Commissioner Gottlieb; FDA started its plan pointing attention on nicotine levels in traditional cigarettes and delaying PMTA (premarket tobacco product application) submission deadline for new tobacco products from 2018 to 2022;
- Fall 2018: the problem of the spread of vaping among youth broke out: in November 2018 Gottlieb announced the beginning of a regulation that will ban the sale of flavored e-liquids (other than tobacco, menthol and mint) except in adult-only stores, like vape or tobacco shops;
- February 2019: commenting additional data of the National Youth Tobacco Survey published by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), Gottlieb announced tough actions to regulate e-cigs to stop what he labeled as ‘epidemic’ use among youth;
- March 2019: Gottlieb announced his resignation and a few after a modified compliance policy of flavored vaping products (other than tobacco-flavored, mint-flavored, and menthol-flavored) is announced; PMTA submission deadline for the flavored products is anticipated at August 8, 2021;
- April 2019: Sharpless has been nominated as acting FDA Commissioner;
- 30 April 2019: FDA has authorized the marketing of the IQOS, manufactured by Philip Morris International;
- June 2019: San Francisco is the first US city to ban sales of e-cig; in the following months, other cities and States emitted vaping or flavor ban, encountering the legal opposition of vaping associations;
- June 2019: the first hospital admissions for patients with what CDC call ‘lung injury associated with e-cigarette use, or vaping’ (EVALI); the disease reached its peak in September, and then almost completely diminished in October and November. As of November 20, 2019 almost 2300 cases have been reported and 47 deaths have been confirmed. Recent CDC laboratory results found vitamin E acetate (an additive in some THC-containing e-cigarette, or vaping products) in the tested samples;
- July 2019: PMTA submission deadline has been anticipated to May 2020;
- September 2019: the FDA proposed rule for ‘Premarket Tobacco Applications and Recordkeeping Requirements’;
- November 2019: deadline for comments to the FDA proposed rule for PMTA;
- December 2019: Hanh has been nominated asFDA Commissioner;
- December 2019: Federal Tobacco 21 legislation is included in the spending bill that must pass Congress before the holiday season; it includes e-cigarettes among the “tobacco products” under 21 not admitted.
- January 2020: the FDA has announced to enforce its regulations to certain classes of vaping products, among which “Any flavored, cartridge-based ENDS product (other than a tobacco- or menthol-flavored ENDS product)”.