FDA regulations threaten Pine Belt e-cig businesses

FDA regulations threaten Pine Belt e-cig businesses
FDA regulates e cigarettes. Photo credit WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - There are seven shops in Hattiesburg that specialize in e-cigarettes and over 120 in the state of Mississippi alone.

Cloud 9 owner Floyd Gray is one of those owners who operates a shop in the Pine Belt.

But thanks to new regulations by the Food and Drug Administration, Gray's shop may be in jeopardy.

"It's just adding more jobs and unemployment to the list," Gray said.

The FDA released new regulations on e-cigarettes and other forms of alternate tobacco.  The new regulations state that new tobacco productions not yet on the market must be reviewed.

But the problem is with the products already on the shelf.

"They'll give us a deadline on how long we have before we have to sell all of it. Then anything after that deadline we have to throw it all away, every bit of it," Gray said.

Gray added that he could lose "close to $100,000" overnight if these regulations take effect.

"We've worked our tail off. Me and my wife are the only ones who work this shop," he said. "We built this from nothing. Our shop in McComb, we built that too. We got two guys running that shop."

Gray is a part of a group called the Mississippi Vaping Advocacy Association, and they plan to fight the regulations before their businesses go up in smoke.

For more information on the MSVAA click this link, and to see the new regulations click this link.