You may have already read about the plan that the FDA announced on July 28.
They are focusing on the point that nicotine, while it is addictive on its own, "is most harmful when delivered through smoke particles in combustible cigarettes." [FDA.gov]
Does this mean they really are coming around to the idea of putting vaping in a separate category to smoking? Well, it seems that way but there is a long way to go yet.
The FDA will be issuing an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to find out what the public thinks about flavored tobacco products (including vaping) and if they can be used to help smokers switch to potentially less harmful forms of nicotine delivery.
They're reaching out to the public for comments which means, as long as the people are vocal about the effectiveness of e-cigarettes in stepping down nicotine use, they should be able to finally make that distinction between real tobacco products and vaping products.
We already heard that they have pushed the deadlines for products to be submitted all the way back to 2022 (for e-cigarettes) which means there is time for the innovation of safer battery options and child-protection standards on products.
When the FDA follows through with this new plan however, we can expect many smokers to switch to e-cigarettes as the regulations may be harder on combustible tobacco cigarettes as opposed to the electronic alternative. These harder regulations may prompt more smokers to quit or switch.
Here's the FDA news article for you to check out if you want the details.