The Consumer Advocates for Smoke free Alternatives Association (CASAA) is quite rightly angry with the FDA deeming regulations announced a couple of weeks ago. For everyone who vapes or who has any other interest in the industry, there are many reasons why the FDA announcement has tended to upset rather than elate.
While it is pretty fair to say that ‘at least something is happening’, a couple of weeks after the dust has settled it is becoming increasingly apparent that the FDA are not being fair. And that has a lot to do with the ridiculously rushed 75-day period within which people are allowed to make comments about the deeming. The FDA made it clear in the deeming that 75 days is the duration of time people and the industry at large have to make any comments or contributions to the document.
So to clarify, we have the beginnings of regulation here, and these beginnings have taken three years to materialize.
The FDA have given the rest of the world 75 days in which to respond with their points.
So CASAA Is rightly angry. It says:
‘Given the length of time FDA has taken to release the proposed regulations, the massive amount of information FDA is requesting, the length of the document itself, and the devastating impact these regulations will have on a product that is estimated to be approximately 99% less hazardous than combustibles, the 75-day comment period is grossly inadequate.’
Source: CASAA website
It did a good thing by asking for a call to action. It is also adamant that it’s important to work hard to extend that 75-day deadline. And a lot of what it says makes sense. One of the reasons why CASAA feels that it is important that 75 days becomes something much bigger is all down to anger and vitriol. And stupidity too.
Internet making vapers look pretty bad
And that’s because of the Internet primarily and how the platforms and social media of today have a tendency to bring out what in ‘real’ life it is doubtful would be said. The vaping community grew up on the Internet. It commented, it railed against injustice, and it generally survived through the Web.
There are now hundreds of blogs about vaping and the industry, and people generally take to the Internet to make their opinions clear. Add social media to this mix and you have a situation where anything goes. Vapers have a right to be angry about the fact that there is quite stringent regulation coming up.
We have a right to be irate about the fact that it’s taken three years for the FDA to say anything at all. We also have a right to be a little bit annoyed about only having 75 days in which to make comment about the deeming proposed regulation framework.
The only problem is that this doesn’t always translate well online. Most Vapers aren’t thinking about political optics or PR but the other side is.
At best, we seem angry and irate and incensed. At worst, we’ve had predictably stupid comments that include profanity and antagonising content towards authority figures, whether it’s justifiable or not. It makes us look ignorant.
Here’s a (relatively) tame comment from Grimm Green’s blog post on banning e-cigs:
TOTALLY PISSED!! I TRIED IT ALL! Hypno…Gum…PILLS! PATCHES!!! VAPING WORKS!!! BUT! I can “Vape” and NOT “Vape”…The cloud does not HAVE to come out your MOUTH! you CAN disburse it before it comes out…”I” can get the effect I need and NOT display the full cloud around me..
Yes, that’s a blog comment. Here’s the link to prove it.
Are vapers flaky and weird?
We’ve talked before about how the vaping community has always been vulnerable to accusations of being flaky and weird. A small minority of vapers may well be flaky and weird and cursing the FDA on comments, forums, and in social media. There may be bad spelling and bad grammar too, and this is, believe it or not, a problem.
If we have any idiots using profanity and violent language towards FDA figures or anyone against electronic cigarettes and it is posted online, all that’s going to do is to justify the belief that vapers are outsiders. So that needs to be thought about. It is, as CASAA states, worthwhile waiting until the very end, at least, of the 75 days. If the 75 days is extended it gives people even more time to create reasonable and intelligent arguments. The one thing we don’t need is undisciplined and offensive pot shots (as we at SMOKELESS haven’t ever been guilty of well maybe once or twice).
More time means more balance for vapers
CASAA makes another good point too, when it states that having a longer period of time would balance out the waiting of three years that vapers had to endure for the FDA to do anything.
The vaping community wants to take regulation seriously, and to have a short window of 75 days within which to create a reasoned and careful argument centring on a document of over 200 pages is ridiculous. Consumers aren’t necessarily going to read this document, because it is so long. So having a body like the CASAA on our side is important. We respect this call to action and the action plan that CASAA is proposing. Everyone needs to chill, think about the real arguments, and take the time to create a reasoned and intelligent response. Forget the idiots, and forget the idiots who put us in this situation in the first place.
Let’s wait, and let’s bring maturity to the conversation.