Regulators plan to open up a process that’s normally secretive by listing which e-cigarette makers want permission to sell their products in the U.S., a move that could help consumers and retailers spot illegal products more easily.
The Food and Drug Administration now plans to publish a list of all the products subject to the agency’s Sept. 9 deadline, and which have filed applications, Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, said in a blog post Monday. The FDA has received applications for about 2,000 e-cigarettes and other newly regulated tobacco products already. There are more than 400 million eligible items that would need to apply to stay on the market, he said.
The review will reshape the e-cigarette industry. Products whose applications were filed on time will have a one-year grace period to stay on the market while the FDA reviews them, unless the agency rejects the request. Large manufacturers, retailers who could be liable for selling illegal products and public-health groups had pushed the FDA to make the process more transparent.
An agency spokeswoman declined to say when the list will be available. Zeller asked for patience while the agency figures out the legal logistics to publicizing who has applied.
“We want to sell legal products responsibly, and we look to the agency for which products are legal to be marketed and which are not,” Anna Blom, director of government relations of the National Association of Convenience Stores, said in an interview Friday. The group had sent a letter to the FDA urging the agency to publish who has applied.