A major lobbying effort to shield many e-cigarette products from federal regulation has gone up in smoke.
A $1.1 trillion spending bill released early Wednesday did not include a rider to change the grandfather date in upcoming federal regulations for e-cigarettes.
The decision means that a majority of e-cigarettes on the shelves will need to get clinical testing and approved by the Food and Drug Administration, an action advocates say could kill the burgeoning industry.
The rider focused on a requirement in a proposed FDA regulation that all e-cigarettes made after February 2007 must get agency approval. The rider would have changed the grandfather date to when the regulations are released, shielding products already on the market.
The e-cigarette industry has cried foul, saying that a majority of products weren't around before 2007 and that it will drive the industry out of business.
"This is nothing more than modern-day prohibition," said Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, a vaping advocacy group.
Healthcare advocacy groups such as the American Lung Association have fought against the industry's efforts, saying that the 2007 date was put there to ensure cigarette makers don't create new, more addictive products that would escape agency scrutiny.
The FDA's regulations will be released by some time early next year. Once they're out, industry groups will have two years to implement them.
Industry insiders have said that the spending bill was the last best hope to address the grandfather date before the regulations were released.