JOPLIN, MO.--- Local vapor shops have mixed opinions about a proposed regulation on new tobacco products like the popular E-cigarettes. The rule would make it illegal for people under 18 to purchase E-cigarette products. Vapor makers would also be required to tell the U.S. Food and Drug Administration what's in their liquids.
"It's like the wild, wild, west," said Bradley Crane, Southwest Missouri Vape Shop Owner.
That's how Southwest Missouri Vape Shop Owner Bradley Crane describes the vapor business without any regulations.
"I was kind of excited. I'm anxious for regulation to come on," said Crane.
Crane says there needs to be safety and uniformity on the market.
"If everybody has to send all of their material safety data sheets to the FDA, and that's going to be watched, I think we are all going to be a lot safer," said Crane.
Vapor World Salesman John Simmons isn't so sure about the regulation. He says some of the ingredients in E-liquids are in other products.
"It's when you combine the two with the flavoring and the nicotine. They are just saying we are not sure about that, but the studies still show that Nicorette, the patch and the gum, they're safe," said John Simmons, Vapor World Salesman.
The FDA also recommends no more free samples of E-liquid, which some shops sell as flavors without nicotine.
"That's one of the reasons people come in is for the flavors. Anything that helps them wean themselves off of a cigarette. If the flavor helps, sure," said Simmons.
Both Crane and Simmons say their shops currently don't sell to minors, but they still have their own worries about the proposed rule.
"All products will have to be submitted to the FDA, and they might not be released or sold until they are actually approved, and I worry about potential lag," said Crane
Simmons is concerned about the public's misinformation about E-cigs.
"They haven't taken the time to understand it, so they are shying away from it and that does hurt the people who want to quit smoking," said Simmons.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is also proposing to regulate cigars, pipe tobacco, nicotine gels, and hookah. The proposed rule does not say anything about sales, advertising and use of flavors. The public is encouraged to take part in the FDA's 75-day public comment period.