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MIAMI — Since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized its deeming rule last month, much of the focus has been on the effects on manufacturers and retailers. However, electronic cigarette users may also be impacted by the new regulations that will go into effect in August.
V2, a Miami-based e-cigarette and vapor product brand, commissioned a study of 300 adult vapers across the United States and found that 44 percent had never heard of the regulations. The participants were polled between May 16-20.
In addition, 30 percent said they heard about the regulations some time since the FDA's final rule was revealed on May 5, while 18 percent heard about the regulations on May 5. Only 9 percent said they had heard about the proposed regulations prior to the ruling in May.
"The industry missed a giant opportunity to inform and inspire vapers to take action ahead of these regulations," said Adam Kustin, vice president of marketing, V2. "It's unfortunate that the industry and its customers will only be able to coalesce around this issue after the barn door closed."
The survey also found that about three-quarters of those polled believe e-cigarettes should be regulated. However, in an April survey by V2 which polled 600 vapers, 57 percent said that they were against any federal regulations by the FDA.
Of that 57 percent, 27 percent said regulations should occur locally and 13 percent said the industry should self-regulate.
"Vapers want common sense regulations to ensure consumer protection and product standards," Kustin said. "But what they fear is overregulation, which would stifle product access and innovation."
When the survey respondents were asked what they would do if electronic cigarettes and e-liquid became harder to buy or more expensive, 36 percent said "nothing would change" and that "as long as they are available, I will buy them."
However, a nearly equal number said that they would vape less. Another 18 percent said they would "vape less and smoke combustible cigarettes more," while 8 percent said they would switch back to smoking exclusively, if e-cigarettes and e-liquid became more expensive or more scarce.
In addition, according to the survey, 49 percent said they would go back to combustible cigarettes if e-cigarettes are removed from the market entirely.
Twenty-eight percent said they would stop consuming nicotine or tobacco products of any kind, and 17 percent said they would use a smoking cessation method, such as the patch, mints or gum.