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Local E-cig Shops React to New FDA Regulations

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a rule about e-cigarettes on Thursday. Retailers will soon face stiffer rules and stiffer penalties for breaking them.

The federal government will be taking a harder look at how e-cigarettes are marketed. Those in the vaping industry said this could be too time consuming and costly.

The past four years, Fridley's E-cig & Supply has been in business selling e-cigarettes, nicotine gel and accessories. Now, the FDA is cracking down, putting new rules in place that could make it harder for the company, and others like it, to thrive.

"They're going to want to make it less appealing to a younger audience, like this is a blue e-cig here or white or black or something real simple," Brandon Sandvig with E-cig & Supply's customer service department said. "They do like these devices that are colored, or that do have a little bit more power, they look a little fancier."

The new FDA ruling won't allow products to be sold in person and online to people under 18. That's already the law in Minnesota.

"It's, right away, can I see your ID," Sandvig said, describing what happens when customers first enter E-cig & Supply.

Still, the actions being taken will put into place a tobacco review process evaluating ingredients, health risks and product design.

"It's one of the things that keeps people off of cigarettes, is they take pride in the device that they have that looks really nice," Sandvig said.

The federal government will also require manufacturers to get marketing authorization from the FDA, that'll look at products' appeal to youth, and non-users.

"I was a little worried, thinking that they're going to want to test all of this stuff, a lot of businesses could be out of business, people like me losing their job," Sandvig said.

Also, under the new regulations, free samples of products are a no-go. Unless it's an adult-only facility, people cannot sell covered tobacco products in vending machines.

These changes will go into effect in 90 days beginning in August.

Federal figures, show more than 15 percent of high school students report using e-cigarettes. Whether it's the American Lung Association or the Health and Human Services Secretary, the health community is weighing in, applauding the decision, saying nicotine is a highly addictive chemical, and it's urgent to stop the tobacco epidemic.

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