5 Telling Stats from V2’s Survey on FDA Electronic-Cigarette Regulation

Melissa Vonder Haar, Freelance Writer

electronic cigarettes

MIAMI -- In the wake of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) final "deeming" regulations for electronic cigarettes and vapor products, Miami-based vapor manufacturer V2 commissioned a study to gauge consumer response. From May 16 to 20, 300 adult vapers were polled across the United States. Here are five key findings from the recently announced survey results.

44% were unaware of the FDA’s regulations

electronic cigarettes

When asked about when they’d first learned about the FDA’s proposed regulations on the e-vapor industry, a surprising number of vapers reported, “This is the first I am hearing about this.”

“The industry missed a giant opportunity to inform and inspire vapers to take action ahead of these regulations,” said Adam Kustin, V2’s vice president of marketing, in a press release. “It’s unfortunate that the industry and its customers will only be able to coalesce around this issue after the barn door closed.”

Photo from vaping360.com.

48% learned of the regulations on or after the FDA announced them

electronic cigarette smokoe

Further proving Kustin’s point, 30% of respondents said they learned of the regulations after the FDA announced the final rule May 5, and 18% learned of the regulations that day. Only 9% said that they were aware of the proposed regulations prior to the May ruling.

74% believe e-cigs should be regulated

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Nearly three-quarters of the vapers surveyed said electronic cigarettes and vapor products “should be subject to some sort of regulatory process”—though an April survey of 600 vapers showed 57% were against any federal regulations by the FDA. Of that 57%, 27% supported local regulations (state, municipality, etc.) and 13% were in support of allowing the industry to regulate itself.

“Vapers want common-sense regulations to ensure consumer protection and product standards,” Kustin said. “But what they fear is overregulation, which would stifle product access and innovation.”

26% would smoke more if e-cigs become scarce

electronic cigarette smoke

When the survey respondents were asked about their response if electronic cigarettes and e-liquids became harder to buy or more expensive, the majority (36%) said “nothing would change” and “as long as they are available, I will buy them.” However, 26% reported they would smoke more (18% saying they’d vape less and smoke more, 8% saying they’d go back to smoking exclusively) and 34% said they’d simply vape less.

49% would go back to smoking if e-cigs were banned

Marlboro cigarette

Many in the industry have predicted that the steep costs of complying with the FDA’s regulations will force most (if not all) independent manufacturers out of the market. When askedwhat they would do if electronic cigarettes were forced off the market entirely, 49% of respondents said they’d return to smoking cigarettes, 28% said they’d cease using any kind of nicotine or tobacco products and 17% said they’d consider a FDA-sanctioned cessation product, such as nicotine patches, mints or gum.

“E-cigs are groundbreaking technologies that offer an alternative to combustible cigarettes,” said Kustin. “Almost half of respondents reported they’d return to combustible cigarettes if e-cigarettes were no longer available. The remainder said that they’d either use a cessation therapy such as nicotine gum, which we know doesn’t work, or they’d quit nicotine entirely, which is unlikely and unprecedented.

“In other words, if the FDA’s ruling hampers access or forces higher prices, it threatens to eliminate 99% of the industry, essentially driving vapers back into the eager arms of Big Tobacco,” he continued. “Such an outcome would be tragic, not to mention entirely inconsistent with the FDA’s earlier ‘continuum of risk’ rhetoric.”