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Following the rampant and combative anti-smoking ads of the 90’s and early 2000’s was an era filled with young people vehemently against and disgusted by smoking cigarettes. It was this revulsion that propelled the e-cigarette and vaping industry, serving the droves of people addicted to nicotine and ashamed of smoking. The growth of this industry has been exceptional, with 8,500 vape shops opening in the U.S. and the sale of vape equipment and products climbing to $3.5 billion since 2008.

Cigarettes vs. Vaporizers

Vape products today are a drastic improvement from the old, single-use e-cigarette you could buy at a gas station. Due to major technological advancements and patents over the past few years, the vaping experience has greatly departed from traditional smoking. The major concern with smoking cigarettes is that by inhaling the smoke produced by burning tobacco, you are exposed to toxic compounds including carbon monoxide, heavy metals, and carcinogens, potentially leading to lung, throat, or stomach cancer. Vaporizers, however, administer nicotine by vaporizing a liquid, allowing it to be released into the air without burning, thereby lasting longer and without toxic byproducts. Without dismissing the fact that nicotine has negative effects on the body, e-liquid has been found to be 95% safer than cigarettes.


In 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized a rule extending regulatory authority that covers tobacco products to include vaporizers, vape pens, hookah pens, electronic cigarettes, e-pipes, and all other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), even though most ENDS are not even tobacco-based. With the addition of California increasing the age to buy tobacco products to 21 in the same year, the vape industry abruptly took a huge blow.

Some of these regulations are agreeable, such as banning the sale of ENDS to minors, requiring identification, and prohibiting free samples. However, manufacturers are being forced to comply retroactively with rules set out in the Tobacco Control Act of 2009, despite important qualitative differences between ENDS and tobacco based products. ENDS manufacturers are required, in the span of two years, to get pre-approval from the FDA for each vape-related product in the market after February 15, 2007, an application and process that the FDA claims will take 5000 hours and cost $330,000.00 each. The ENDS industry is still in a nascent stage, built on very recent technology, so these regulations will impact almost every single vape product in the market. Smaller manufacturers and shops will potentially be eliminated by this costly process.

The newly proposed Deeming Authority Clarification Act of 2017 gives the vape industry an opportunity to prepare for these regulations by limiting the FDA’s ability to regulate tobacco products. It still allows the FDA to classify ENDS as tobacco products, but it would amend existing law to provide relief to vape manufacturers. This Act would change the nominated date for newly deemed tobacco products, ensure that licensing and advertising guidelines set for vaping products are practical, and create a separate tobacco product classification for ENDS, protecting them from the regulations in place for cigarettes. Most importantly, the proposed legislation would exempt ENDS created before 2017 from being subject to the pre-approval process.

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Starting a new business can be a bit scary. Aside from worries of failure, there’s also the hassle of making sure all legal paperwork are properly filed. I reached out to Mr. Wang (Tommy) because of his excellent reviews and reputation and I am so glad I did. He was thorough and meticulous in answering all of my concerns and took time to find out special laws and policies regarding the kind of business I am starting. I could focus on the daily practical side of starting my new office without worry because I felt Tommy was reliable and took my case seriously. My business is opened and it’s all been a smooth start because of Tommy’s help. I have plans to start another business venture in the next few years and I already know I’ll be coming back to Wang IP Law.

The Shindig W.

I came to Tommy for help reviewing a licensing agreement I had secured with a well-known manufacturer. Tommy made sure I understood all the details in the contract and he negotiated with the company to improve my side of the deal. I mentioned to Tommy at my first consultation that we were looking to expand throughout the US and were investing a lot of money to make a big entrance into the market. I did not think I would have my store open so soon but Tommy also has connections with the local area and realtors to help me secure the location for my first store in the Los Angeles area. Tommy works a lot with the local businesses and he understands how to transition from the Asian market to US market. Within 8 months my store was open for business and fully operating. I must recommend Tommy to any business owners looking for help with contracts and improving their side of the deal. Tommy has the knowledge and experience to make sure there is a smooth process to open for business here, and make sure that your company is set up for success.


I think Tommy and his team by far considered the best people to work with in my 16 business years. Beside quick responses to all my inquiries, they also done things right and providing very professional solutions. I’m highly recommending Tommy and his firm to all business owners.

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I have been working on my Utility Patent for almost 4 years. I have hired and fired two very reputable IP firms because with all their expertise and reputation for being some of the top firms in IP Law, I felt a lack of connection and care in my product, time and financial investment. Then I found Tommy and his team. Tommy does not waste time. He and his team are professional and extremely thorough. After 4 years, I finally found a legal team that I felt spent the time to really understand the components of my utility patent. Tommy also very mindful of cost and how and where my money would be better spent. I really feel I am in great hands with Tommy and his team. They have been patient with my revisions. And most importantly, they made me feel that they fully understood the importance this patent is to me. It has been a great and comforting pleasure working with Tommy.


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