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TPE 2017: Local Ordinances, FDA's Deeming Rule, and Other Concerns

Market consolidation was a leading topic at January's 2017 Tobacco Plus Expo in Las Vegas along with FDA concerns, including the potential impact on the industry from the so-called “Deeming Rule” which became effective August 8, 2016. Local ordinances which are hard to keep track of were another topic of concern as they greatly impact specific markets by not only hindering a purchaser’s ability to obtain and use these products, but also because it makes it difficult for out-of-state sellers to understand what their compliance obligations are when making sales online to customers in those jurisdictions.

While it was stated that cigarettes represent 90% of market, with premium cigarettes growing at a rapid pace along the ever growing vape and e-cigarette sectors, much of the trade show floor itself was made up of e-liquid and vape related suppliers.

My observation of the "tobacco products" industry from attending the event is that this is one that is rapidly evolving, lacking clear guidance on how to operate in the current web of regulations, and that there is a low level frequency of fear from virtually all sides arising in part from the current uncertainty about the industry itself, along with practices of longtime actors in the industry in relation to new ones.

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