White Cloud’s Response to the Recent FDA Proposals
This past Thursday the federal government moved to add new levels of monitoring and authority over those who use, make and sell electronic cigarettes. The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed a sweeping set of rules to crack down on what many outlets are – somewhat inaccurately – deeming a “Wild West” of e-cigarette manufacturers and distributors.
The proposed FDA rules focus on two areas:
1. Children – The FDA proposes to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under age 18, which is already the law in several states.
At White Cloud, we agree with many professionals and experts in the area of public health who see the potential for electronic cigarettes to significantly reduce the harm and risk associated with existing combustible tobacco use. Last week’s Deeming Regulation issued by the FDA has a number of key elements, such as underage restrictions, no ban on Internet sales or flavors, and the requirement to submit ingredients and new products for review, which we fully support.
The safety of our customers, and their families, is of the utmost importance to our company, and, if this proposal is passed, we will work in concert with the FDA to ensure these guidelines are followed, and standards are met and exceeded.
At White Cloud, we have had age restrictions in place since we started business five years ago, and have developed (and implemented) bespoke and sophisticated software in order to make sure that only adult consumers are able to purchase electronic cigarettes via our online order system.
Regarding growing public concern about e-cigarette marketing, and how it appears some companies target underage customers, White Cloud is staunchly against marketing any products of this nature to children. Our advertising is carefully targeted to reach our key customers – adults of smoking age – and is never intended to appear on websites designed for those under the age of 18.
While we are aware that children often CAN access such pages, we are careful to ensure that our product descriptions, advertising and package designs, and branding statements are created to appeal to an older demographic. In parallel, we do not believe our products and marketing can be misconstrued as anything other than “adult” in nature.
Our flavor selection – a common target of criticism for the e-cigarette industry – was developed after careful focus group and survey research conducted with adults of legal smoking age. Unsurprisingly, our research showed that adults enjoy a wide range of flavors in their e-cigs, and our product development has reflected this feedback.
2. Public awareness – E-cigarette manufacturers would be required to divulge the ingredients in their products. This will help researchers and potential smokers to better understand the risks e-cigarettes pose to health.
White Cloud has long championed the transparency of companies in this industry, and is proud to list product ingredients on packaging and our website. As the industry currently stands, there is wide variation in electronic cigarettes, their quality, and individual company approaches to marketing to consumers.
As such, we at White Cloud support the intent behind the FDA Deeming Regulations that propose the submission of ingredients and the review of any product entering the market.
If customers want to know what’s inside White Cloud products, they should visit the Learn section of our website, for all the information they need about e-cig technology, ingredients, nicotine and more.
Additionally, we have devoted a considerable amount of budget and resources toward the development of DeMISTified, our sister website, which serves to educate customers (and potentially remove any misconceptions) about the science of electronic cigarettes.
Under this FDA proposal, e-cigarettes would carry a warning label, just as regular cigarettes do, to warn users of potential effects that can come from using nicotine products. However, we encourage the FDA to be clear when communicating the effects of nicotine vs. the effects of traditional tobacco smoking, as labeling our products as “tobacco smoking” devices is fallacious and misrepresentative.
We applaud the FDA for addressing key areas of concern with its recent proposals, and hope that these more restrictive guidelines will bring about better marketing and sales practices across the industry.
Naturally, we agree it’s important to focus on curtailing e-cigarette sales to youngsters and warning adults about potential effects when using e-cigs. But we also hope this proposal encourages regular (and more thorough) research of e-cigarettes.
Future regulation of electronic cigarettes should be science and evidence-based with appropriate product and manufacturing standards, thus ensuring the maximum quality of product whilst providing current tobacco consumers with what is generally accepted as a lower risk alternative to combustible tobacco products.
We believe that the ingredient submission and new product review process detailed in the FDA’s Deeming Regulations are a positive step in the direction of safety, quality and consistency.
As one of the original USA-based e-cigarette companies, White Cloud has worked hard to not only grow our business, but also the quality of our customer education. By encouraging more transparency from all companies, the industry – and the safety of the customers we serve – will only improve, as a whole.