ARE WE TYING OUR OWN HANDS?
Attention shop owners......Vapor products are now classified as tobacco products.
Effective 08/08/2016 the FDA now regulates all products meeting the statutory definition of a tobacco product, including e-cigs, hookah tobacco, cigars, pipe tobacco, and dissolvables.
There are clear (black and white) regulations on specifics that we can and cannot do as shops. These "Clear" regulations have a SOURCE and can be seen in the FDA documents. These things can and should be stated as facts. Visit the FDA website for these regulations.
There are many “unclear” (gray areas) in in the FDA documents. Attorneys and others have given their interpretations of these gray area regulations and have leaned on the side of caution because they “Might”, “Could”, “Possibly” be seen as violations. An attorneys job is to protect its client, so I understand them making those statements.
My concern is all of the shops that are labeling these gray areas as violations if performed. They are making statements that make it sound as if it is a “Fact” when it is not. There are interpretations from other attorneys and intelligent individuals that performing these services or functions are not violations. If all of the shops are taking the position that these gray areas are all violations and stating this as fact….. it becomes fact and we will essentially tie our own hands as an industry. Don’t make a post or statement about another post or statement you viewed on Facebook or blog without having a legitimate SOURCE. There is way too much misinformation out there being stated as fact.
If you are a shop that wants to lean on the side of caution please do not state gray areas as violations as if it is a fact. It would be better to say “until clarification is made we will not be performing the function or task”.
If you are a shop that is leaning the other direction make sure to keep a copy of the regulations on hand should you get a visit from an inspector. If there is a function or task that they view as a violation, ask POLITELY for help and have them direct you to the “SOURCE” in the regulations. If they provide their own documents POLITELY ask for a copy then thank them. You don’t want to be confrontational with these inspectors (it won’t end well for you). We should not assume that when the FDA/Health inspectors come out that none of them will have any common sense. Let’s give them the opportunity to be reasonable.
Performing these functions that are considered gray areas does not make you a rebel trying to skirt the system. These areas are unknown, not facts. Gray areas “Might”, “Could”, “Possibly” be seen as violations, but they “Might”, “Could”, “Possibly” NOT be seen as violations.
This is simply my opinion and should not be taken as legal advice. Form your own opinion based on legal advice from your attorney, facts and legitimate sources.