NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Local vape shop owners worry that new federal regulations could put them out of business.
Fighting back tears, Heather Hutton said new FDA rules regulating products like e-cigarettes and vape pens could cost her her business and her employees their livelihood.
"Our shop would definitely close down. We would definitely close," said Hutton.
Hutton is also with the Louisiana Vaping Association, an organization that promotes the vaping industry. While she and others are now fighting the federal oversight, the FDA says it will improve public health and protect future generations.
"People who buy e-cigarettes and other tobacco products deserve to have the facts so that they can make informed decisions about their purchase. And, as a Nation, we've agreed for many years that nicotine does not belong in the hands of children," said Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell.
Vape shop owners we talked to support some of the new regulations, like prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and putting health warnings on products.
"We support a lot of the regulations. A lot of them we already enforce as far as the labeling, the child resistant packaging, the age requirements. We already practice all of those," said Hutton.
They're concerned with how much it could cost to submit their homemade products for federal review and approval.
"According to my knowledge, right now on the regulations it would put me out of business within two years," said Jeff Weber, who owns The Vaping Tiger. "The financial burden could be up to a million dollars per product, and me, personally, I have approximately 100 products on the market."
According to the FDA, the new rules will allow them to review new tobacco products that are not yet on the market, evaluate product ingredients and how they're made as well as communicate the potential risks of those products.
The FDA says regulations will apply not only to electronic nicotine delivery systems, but also to cigars, hookah products, pipe tobacco and nicotine gels.
The Louisiana Vaping Association says it has not ruled out taking legal action against the FDA.