On May 5th, 2016, the Food and Drug Administration made the announcement of sweeping federal regulations for the ever flourishing $3.5 billion e-cigarette industry, setting off a blizzard of reaction from both sides of the vaping debate.

The rules, which will take effect from August 2016, regulate hookahs, cigars, e-cigarettes and any other tobacco products in the same way as the FDA regulates traditional cigarettes. Sales to persons under 18 years are highly prohibited, and buyers will have to show a valid photo ID. (Many states have already begun making this move, including California, which just passed down a law raising the age for buying any product that has tobacco, including e-cigarettes to 21). But here's the most controversial part, E-cigarette producers will be obligated to go through a lengthy registration and also safety review process with the FDA, providing a list of ingredients—including potentially unhealthy additives—manufacturing details, and evidence that the product is safe. Manufacturers will have close to two years to sell any of their products while their applications are being made ready, and up to one additional year, while the FDA reviews them, making it close to three years.

Diverse reactions arose because of this law. The public health advocates are mostly satisfied. Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for "Tobacco-Free Children", called it a "critical initial move, but not just enough. "

This FDA law is hurting only those selling e-cigarettes and not the traditional cigarette that is entirely harmful to users. The question now is what can we do about it because if measures are not taken, many e-cigarette stores will be out of business soon. I have listed below three things you can do to join in the fight against this law to keep the healthier e-cigarette alive.

Write letters to editors of newspapers

Comments on websites are good, but the fact remains nobody cares or reads them. People who still purchase newspapers and take the time to read the editorial page are often people with influence. We can influence them by writing brief (150 to 300 words) compelling letters that highlight our experiences against what the FDA is trying to support. Also, if newspapers receive a bunch of letters from vapers, they might just be interested in writing a few articles about the topic. This way, we continue building momentum!

Support online vendors and vape shops involved in the fight

E-cigarette users would be considered wise to patronize the businesses who are in it for the long term. If you purchase from vendors that are only interested in just filling and enlarging their savings account, you reward people who don't care about all of us. Encouraging customers to join CASAA is essential, but I also expect anyone I buy from to be a contributing member of a national trade association or the AVA.

Call your State representative’s office

Don’t be shy about anything! The attendant taking the call will simply get your details (to verify you’re in that Congress representative’s district), and make a note of what you say. CASAA’s calls to swift action have suggested points to mention, but the principal thing is to let them know that you’re also a voter who quit smoking with e-cigarettes. Then let them know you want to urge support for legislation that will protect and preserve vapor products so other smokers can continue to have the same opportunity that you've had. An elected representative might not listen to only one constituent, but when multiple calls come in on any topic, it does get their full attention.