Jeremy Petrocelli has been selling e-cigarettes out of his E. State St. shop, Vape-N-Juice, since July of 2014. But his entire business may be in for a change, after new e-cigarette legislation is passed.
The new law requires that all electronic cigarette products become FDA approved. It also prevents the sale of e-cigs to anyone under 18. Petrocelli says most of the new requirements aren’t a big deal.
“We’re gonna have to change our label process, that’s really not a big deal,” said Petrocelli. “We will have to file a listing with all of our ingredients. We also have to register as a tobacco manufacturer with the FDA. All those things are fine.”
What concerns Petrocelli is the fact that many of his products will need to come down off his shelves while he waits for them to become FDA approved. And if that happens, he says it will destroy the e-cig industry.
“Essentially, 99% of all vape companies in the country will close down. We’re talking 15,000 different companies, and hundreds of thousands of jobs,” said Petrocelli.
The American Lung Association says the new regulations are needed — because they want to prevent a new generation of people from becoming addicted to nicotine.
“E-cigarettes pose unique risks for adolescents and children, specifically,” said Erika Sward of the American Lung Association. “There is no safe level of nicotine exposure for adolescents, particularly when it comes to their brain development.”
But Petrocelli says the goal of e-cigarettes is actually to help people quit smoking, by slowly reducing the amount of nicotine in the e-cigarette liquid. He says it makes e-cigs a much healthier alternative to cigarettes.
“Just recently, in the UK, their health department did a study, and has shown improvement, that it’s 95% safer for you than traditional cigarettes,” said Petrocelli.
Now he’s hoping that another piece of legislation — House Bill 2058 — will be able to save his business.
“What that will do for the industry is effectively it will grandfather in all current products on the market, without having to go through the FDA’s approval process, which is extremely costly and time consuming,” said Petrocelli.