In the years to come, nearly 60 million people will adopt vaping as their preferred form of nicotine delivery. If you're going to open a beginner vape shop, you're jumping in at the right time, with lots of room for growth. However, it's essential to take the legality of vaping seriously by adding the right legal disclaimers to your site.
Here are four things you need to consider when complying with the law on your new vaping website.
1. Vaping As a Safer Alternative to Tobacco
Many consumers have found that vaping suits their lifestyle better than cigarettes ever could.
First, there's the smell. When you walk around smoking tobacco, your clothes end up smelling like it. That's the reason people used to wear smoking jackets. It's hard to get the smell of cigarettes out of fabrics, which is why so many people don't want to cigarettes in their home.
In addition, cigarettes are dangerous. Smoking while driving could lead to dropping a cigarette and starting a fire. The history of people who've fallen asleep while smoking a cigarette and burned their house down in long and storied.
E-cigarettes are absorbed into your bloodstream when you use them without any of the risks of burning or lingering smells.
While some people find this is a good way to quit smoking, there isn't a lot of conclusive proof. The chemicals in e-liquids contain some elements that are potentially unsafe for people who have trouble breathing. While they are sure to be safer than tobacco, you can't claim that quite yet.
2. The Rules for Buying and Distributing
While e-cigarettes and vaping are seeing some explosive growth, there are still regulators who want to protect underaged people from using it. Although vaping doesn't seem as addictive as tobacco in most cases, the FDA requires regulations in place for protecting young Americans.
Minors are now absolutely restricted from buying or using e-cigarettes. Whether you buy them in a store or online, you have to provide proof that you're old enough to buy. The government regulation of vaping devices and e-cigarettes is mimicking most of tobacco's regulations.
Advertising, manufacturing, and distribution of vaping are now under the umbrella of the FDA. While the accessories that go with vaping can live outside of those regulations, the e-juice and vape pens fall squarely under those limitations.
You need to have any purchases from your online vape shop confirm that they're over 18 years old. You can have them create an account and submit a scan or photo of their state ID. You can also have them sign a form verifying their age.
3. Tobacco Regulations Have Changed
While you might not think that it's relevant to your vaping business, tobacco's new regulations are important to make note of. The things that fall under this umbrella are any products that contain even a remote trace of tobacco or are derived from it.
If you prepare or mix e-liquids for vaporizers, you could end up under these new regulations. Even the manufacturers and modifiers of vaporizers who deal with distributing those products to consumers have to follow the rules.
If you want to make sure you're complying with FDA regulations, you need to report user fee information and pay user fees. You also have to register your establishment as part of the tobacco and vaping directory. You'll have to list the products that you sell as well as information about advertising and labeling.
You'll need to list all the ingredients that you use as well as tobacco health documents about all of your products. Every one of your products will require warning statements, even for smokeless products. If you are selling any products for smoking and vaping, you'll have to include information about potential harms that users could suffer.
Advertising your products as less harmful than tobacco requires some additional work. You'll need to show documentation in advance and include ingredient listings. Products listed as "mild" or "light" are no longer allowed, so don't invest in those.
4. FDA Has Rules for Selling Delivery Systems
Nicotine delivery systems constitute all of the products that could be sold to customers that transfer nicotine to the bloodstream. These include vape pens, personal vaporizers, e-cigarettes, e-hookas, and any kind of electronic pipe.
These products are now prohibited for anyone under 18 years of age. Everyone at your establishment needs to show their ID before they can buy any of them. If you want to ensure that you don't get in trouble, get a UV ID reader or an ID scanner.
While it might set you back a few hundred dollars up front, the cost of just one fine will be twice what the price of these scanners go for.
You also need to watch out for advertising that hangs in your shop or listed on your website. If you're showing any kind of ad, you need to include health warning statements to alert buyers of what they're getting into.
Anything you sell needs to come with a warning as well. You're best shipping out all of your orders with a disclaimer and a statement warning of the health risks of e-cigarettes and e-liquid. Look at the FDA's own regulations to figure out what you need to add to your products and to your website to ensure you don't make any major flubs.
Beginner Vape Shops Don't Get A Pass
If this is your first time opening a shop like this, a beginner vape shop doesn't qualify for special treatment. You need to follow the laws just like every other vape shop on the planet. Get on top of FDA regulations so that you're not left in the dust or being hit with big fines.
If you want to ensure you create a great vaping website, check out our guide for making your site engaging and fun.