On September 9, 2020, the vapor market as we have always known it will change forever. So we thought it was time to have a discussion about PMTA: what it is, what we're doing about it, and most importantly how it will affect you.
What is PMTA?
PMTA is the FDA's "Pre-Market Tobacco Application", and a company has to file one in order to sell any tobacco product in the United States. Until recently, vapor products have not been subject to PMTA requirements, but four years ago the FDA deemed that all vapor products were "tobacco products", whether they included any tobacco or not. The PMTA itself has to present scientific data showing that sale of the new product is "appropriate for the protection of public health" - and since no vapor products have been through the PMTA process, all vapor products will have to go through PMTA in order to continue being sold.
The FDA considers a lot of factors, like how safe the product is for both users and people who don't use the product, and whether non-users would be likely to start using the product, or users would be likely to stop. They also look at manufacturing and packaging processes to make sure they're safe. So a PMTA needs to include studies showing the effects of the product on the public health, every component or ingredient that's used in the product (including the bottle itself!), a complete description of all the processes used to produce the product, and how all of this relates to tobacco product standards.
How This Affects You
Okay, so we have to file a lot of paperwork: why should you care? It's a fair question! The thing is, all that scientific data isn't simple, and doesn't come cheap, and it has to be produced for every single product or product variant, or else that product can't be sold after the PMTA deadline.
Let's repeat, for impact: every vapor product on the market will have to stop being sold if it doesn't undergo the very expensive and complex PMTA process.
You've seen the vapor market: there are thousands of e-liquids out there, thousands of devices. Each PMTA can cost literally millions of dollars, and while there are ways to share or lessen that impact on each individual company, there aren't a lot of companies that can afford million-dollar-per-product expenses. If the deadline holds - and it may not, with an election looming and a global pandemic - on September 9, only the products for which a PMTA has been filed can legally be sold. Whether it's September 9 or not, sometime in the near future, every product for which a PMTA hasn't been filed (and, eventually, every product for which it hasn't been approved) will have to be removed from the market.
Yeah, we know. This sucks, and there's no getting around that.
What We're Doing
This puts Mister-E-Liquid in a difficult position: we carry, as you might have noticed, quite a few flavors. Like, more than a hundred. Each of those flavors has multiple variants, with varying PG/VG, nicotine levels, and even in different bottles. Our flavors are made of several hundred component ingredients, all the individual flavorings that add up to our amazing Mister-E-Liquid flavor. And in order to sell our products to you, we have to undergo the - again, very complex and expensive - PMTA process for every single variant we want to continue selling after the deadline.
You'll be happy to know, then, that we're doing it. Now, we can't apply for a PMTA for every single flavor, and every single variant, right now. There's going to be a period where some of the products you love, we won't be able to sell in the United States. But we have been working for four years now to put together PMTAs for our most popular flavors, in a smaller variety of options, so that you can keep vaping as many of your favorite MEL flavors as possible.
This is hard for us, too. We didn't make this huge variety by chance: this was a choice we made, a long time ago, to offer a huge selection of flavors you could customize however you wanted. That's not just our "brand identity" or whatever, it's legit who we are as a company, as people. But we're also committed to following the law, and doing it right, and genuinely being a public good. We're committed to proving to the FDA that our products are "appropriate for the public health", however long that takes.
This is going to be a difficult time for the vapor market. A lot of manufacturers aren't going to be able to make it. Definitely there will be less selection available, fewer flavors in fewer varieties in fewer sizes. There's no getting around that. But you can rest assured: Mister-E-Liquid will be there at the other end of this process, with the flavors you've come to know and love. We've been here for ten wonderful years, so do not doubt for a moment we'll be here in another ten - and long, long after that. We're in this together.