With the burgeoning vaping industry facing crushing potential fees, supporters of e-cigarettes in Congress are stepping up their push on the administration to completely knock out former President Obama's bid kill the product some see as a safer alternative to cigarettes.
Encouraged by the Food and Drug Administration's decision to delay the new regulations, Sen. Ron Johnson urged new Commissioner Scott Gottlieb to take the next step and junk the regs.
"As you begin your tenure as commissioner of the FDA, I respectfully urge you to review the FDA's e-cigarette regulation so that the industry can continue to innovate and offer vapors [as] an alternative to smoking," the Wisconsin Republican and chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee said in a letter.
The industry claims that the new regulations will force local vaping shops to cough up $1 million each to get federal approval for the unique products and flavors. That, said Johnson, would kill them. And some states are also boosting taxes on the products.
What's more, it would snuff out a product many long-time smokers use to ween off tobacco, an arguement the industry is making on social media.
On the other side, however, anti-tobacco groups are also at war over the FDA delay and this week made their own plea for the regulations.
The Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids, for example, released a list of 51 health groups that want the FDA to put the new regulations in place, claiming that the e-cigarette business targets kids.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org