From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

As Caroline Kitchens reported last week for RealClear Health, unless something changes soon, the doomsday clock will strike midnight on the e-cigarette industry. Ms. Kitchens noted that thanks to FDA regulations finalized last August, manufacturers of e-cigarettes and nicotine vapor products now have fewer than two years to complete an expensive and arduous application process to keep their products on the market.

Ms. Kitchens is a policy analyst and outreach associate for the R Street Institute, which promotes free markets and limited government. Her report correctly points out that many mom-and-pop vape shops, unable to shoulder the cost of such regulatory burdens, are already starting to shutter. Thousands more are likely to close soon. That will include many such shops in the Las Vegas Valley.

It appears that’s just what the FDA wants. The crush on smaller entrepreneurs will pave the way for the tobacco companies and other large operators to control the market.

In addition, these short-sighted regulations will undoubtedly be a people-killer. A 2015 study by Public Health England, an agency of that nation’s health department, made the following conclusion: “In a nutshell, best estimates show e-cigarettes are 95 percent less harmful to your health than normal cigarettes, and when supported by a smoking cessation service, help most smokers to quit tobacco altogether.”

By driving the small shops out of business, the government will be limiting options and likely raising prices for consumers. As a result, Ms. Kitchen writes, “many probably will be driven back to combustible cigarettes. This would be a real shame, since e-cigarettes are at least 95 percent less harmful than combustible alternatives, and smoking-related illness is a leading cause of preventable death in America.”

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