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Vaping Health Scare and FDA Regulations

In recent weeks we have all read and watched reports regarding medical issues and some unfortunate deaths that were preliminarily linked to vaping in the media and the resulting flavor ban announced by the FDA.  Before I get into comments around these events, all of the team at Caterpillar Vapes are keeping the victims in our thoughts.

Here’s what we know:

Based on numerous media reports and available information around the problems with vaping liquid, it seems that a majority of these cases have been linked to use of THC cartridges.  It’s been reported that victims seem to be vaping THC, along with a Vitamin E additive, that are responsible for the issues and one recent arrest.  

Due to the evidence on hand, the FDA has recommended that no one vape THC. At this time we support this decision by the FDA.  The CDC has announced that they recommend everyone quit vaping in general which we feel is a significant overreach - most of our customers are ex-smokers which means the only means for them to quit is cigarettes.  This is neither a viable option nor is it applicable to the true problem at hand: tainted illegal drugs.  

We want to assure our customers that we offer only the highest quality products straight from the manufacturer, and none of the juices that we carry, contain Vitamin E or Vitamin E acetate. Currently, the FDA has a process for certification called the PMTA.  To our knowledge, most (if not all) of our juice manufacturers were on track to obtain that certification. That timeline may be accelerated once guidance from the FDA is released. We strongly feel that the current health scare issues are very localized and are related to THC cartridges, not with standard vaping products.

In response to the growing issue of kids vaping and the recent THC cartridge health scare, the FDA announced on Wednesday, September 11 that they would institute a full flavor ban after they release of guidance in “several weeks”.  What this means yet is still unclear, but it is likely that all flavors will be pulled from the market at the end of a 30 day hearing period. The FDA has not announced when this period would begin, only that they were still working on the specific wording of the ban.  At that point, only tobacco flavored vape juice would still be available until May of 2020 when it would need to be cleared through an FDA approved process. The head of HHS stated in an oval office interview that “The other flavored products manufacturers can, at any time also file but they would be off the market until approved by the FDA.”  This appears to mean that flavored juice would be pulled at the end of the 30 day period and only allowed back on once it had also received FDA approval.  

While we wholly support the efforts to keep vaping products from children, and only safe juice sold to the public,  we also recognize the tremendous help vaping has offered to former smokers and feel very strongly that, as adults, you should not have your rights to choose what vaping products you consume eliminated by the government.  We recognize that while the focus is currently on flavored products, we believe the real issue at hand is high nicotine content juices in easy to conceal products and that if any regulation was to take place, it should be there not in the regulation of flavors or product packaging.  

At this time, Caterpillar Vapes is waiting for the direction from the FDA to come down and make appropriate steps to not only protect your rights, but also does not put many vape stores out of business.

We will update you when we find out more, but if you have any questions, please ask any of the staff or send me an email directly at vapingconcerns@caterpillarvapes.com



FDA SOURCE:

https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/vaping-illnesses-consumers-can-help-protect-themselves-avoiding-tetrahydrocannabinol-thc-containing