Effects of the U.S. Government Shutdown on the Vaping Industry
Coming up on a month, this has been the longest U.S. government shutdown in history. The shutdown stems from a stalemate between President Donald J. Trump and the Republican Party, and the Democratic Party over money to build a physical barrier to stop illegal immigrants from crossing United States’ southern border. During the shutdown, many federal and government employees will not be receiving paychecks, and many more are furloughed. So, how does thousands of federal employees being on “temporary leave” affect the vaping world? Let’s take a look.
Airport Security (TSA)
For the most part, Americans traveling domestic or abroad have not seen any major changes in travel patterns. Although there have been major airports that have closed checkpoints and terminals, and there have been an increased number of Transportation Security Agency officials calling out, airports across the country seem to be running smoothly.
However, Global Entry program applicants may experience a delay in their process because many appointments have been canceled due to the shutdown. This could make it difficult for overseas business people and vendors to enter the country for trade shows and other work-related activities.
There are also more than 3,000 support workers have been furloughed, and hundreds more are working without pay, according to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.
Food and Drug Inspection (FDA)
Since the shutdown, the Food and Drug Administration has paused food and drug safety inspections. This obviously poses a risk to public health, said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. But there is an upside for the vaping industry. At this point, companies in the United States are not allowed to introduce new products to the market, so this does not hinder testing of new vape products.
Online Identity Theft Resources (Federal Trade Commission)
Unfortunately for those who have experienced identity theft online since the shutdown began, there is no course for action. The Federal Trade Commission - which handles such complaints - has been closed thus far during the shutdown. But online sales have not seen much of a decline despite that department not being available to consumers. But for many who have had the misfortune of going through it, they are between a rock and a hard place...at least for now. Many online vape companies have secured websites, making such activities difficult. So there is some peace of mind there.