A major e-cig retailer has conducted research that found that 49% of vapers said they would return to regular cigarettes if the Food and Drug Administration’s regulations crushed the e-cig industry.

Surveying adults across the country from May 16-20, the FDA’s “deeming” regulations have frightened the vaping community. It has been suggested that most existing e-cigarette products could be removed from the market.

The FDA’s regulations have a so-called predicate date of 17 February, 2007, in which all products that were designed after this date will go through the onerous and exhaustive Pre-Market Tobacco Application process.

The PMTA process can cost millions of dollars and thousands of hours of paperwork. Insiders have predicted that 99% of the products on the market won’t pass the PMTA and will be taken from the market.

Thus, the vaping community fears that e-cigarettes will be more or less outlawed in the US, and a poll by V2 found that 49% of vapers would return to smoking. The same poll also found that 75% agreed that e-cigarettes should face some regulation.

A similar study in March found that the majority of Americans favour e-cig regulation.

The poll asked e-cig users what would happen if e-cigs and e-liquid became more expensive or harder to buy. 34% said they would vape less, and 18% said they would vape less and smoke some cigarettes, too.

“Vapers want common sense regulations to ensure consumer protection and product standards,” said Adam Kustin, a representative of V2. “But what they fear is overregulation, which would stifle product access and innovation.”

Recently, a US Senator demanded the FDA release more information about their regulation of e-cigs.