Have the Dogs of War really been called off, or is just the beginning of a much darker time for the electronic cigarette industry?
Over the last couple of years the electronic cigarette industry has been under enormous pressure, has been ridiculed, been dismissed and then finally the dogs of war were let loose to ravage what was left. However, last week’s announcement by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was a surprise for many and has introduced what is in effect a short-term soft touch regulatory environment. So, who called the dogs of war off the electronic cigarette industry and why?
You may think this is an exaggeration but this is an industry which has been attacked from all sides in the mass media, taken a standing eight count as a boxer but recovered time and time again to continue the fight.
The silence is now deafening!
Only a few weeks ago the large pharmaceutical groups, the influential tobacco companies, politicians and regulators seemed to be calling the deathknell for the electronic cigarette industry. There was talk electronic cigarettes would be banned in the US, Internet sales would be terminated leaving an open field for the tobacco cigarette giants to take over the day. So what happened?
There is growing speculation that influential corporate bodies have now admitted defeat in their fight to ban electronic cigarettes. There are rumours of further mergers and takeovers, perhaps the FDA will announce punitive regulatory fees and finally we have the likes of British American Tobacco about to give an update on its electronic cigarette strategy any time now. The playing field has changed, the strategies have been updated but there is growing speculation that medium to long-term regulations will perhaps be more stringent.
Don’t give up the fight
It is unclear whether this change in strategy, calling off the dogs of war, is an attempt to lull the industry into a false sense of security ahead of major corporate activity. It all seems too good to be true, the electronic cigarette industry will only experience light touch regulations in the short-term and financial experts believe recent growth will continue for some time to come.
The fight for the electronic cigarette industry and the vaping community is now moving in a new direction. There is an enormous will to resist the financial influence and power of the tobacco companies, to maintain control of the electronic cigarette industry and not revert to the aggressive strategies used by tobacco cigarette giants in years gone by. Let us not forget that some influential conglomerates have tried time and time again to crush the electronic cigarette industry, they have used their powers of persuasion in the political arena yet somehow the industry is now exiting from a very dark tunnel.
What next for the electronic cigarette industry?
Despite the fact that many US authorities, and indeed others around the world, have taken it upon themselves to introduce their own particular electronic cigarette regulations, the FDA has now drawn a line in the sand. There is every chance this could dissuade those looking at stricter local regulations and indeed many of those regulations going through state legislation now may well be challenged in the short-term. The industry seems to have beaten back the dogs of war, the industry seems to have avoided the worst in possible regulations and, bizarrely, there does seem to be light at the end of the tunnel.
We will see some in-depth discussions during the FDA’s consultation period although it would be suicide for the FDA to go back on its initial thoughts after a near three-year review of the industry. However, if there is one thing the vaping community has learned it is not to count your chickens before they have hatched!
Mark Benson is a contributing author for Spinfuel eMagazine. His continuing columns will bring a level headed approach to the dynamics involved in realizing a positive future for the e-cigarette industry. For more information on electronic cigarettes and the various products available please visit the OKCigs website