Nearly five years after President Obama signed the Tobacco Control Act, the FDA has finally released a set of proposed regulations for the $1.7 billion e-cigarette industry. Vapers and the companies that sell them their nicotine fog juice can exhale a giant, sultry plume of relief.

E-cigarette companies will have to submit their existing products for FDA review (farewell, explosions), and report their list of ingredients; any new products would also need to be FDA-approved before being brought to market. Free samples of e-cigarettes would be illegal, and the products themselves would need to carry a warning label stating that nicotine is addictive.

E-cigarettes are prohibited from making therapeutic claims in their advertisements, but they will be able to say that they are better for users than cigarettes if "the FDA confirms that scientific evidence supports the claim and that marketing the product will benefit public health as a whole." Sales are restricted to those 18 or older.

Here's why Bonnie Herzog, the managing director for Wells Fargo's Beverage, Tobacco, and Consumer Research division, and possibly the most prominent e-cig analyst (and booster), called the rules "Positive for Industry."

Flavors Are Fine: The Tobacco Control Act banned flavored cigarettes (except menthol), but the peach, mango, chocolate banana, cinnamon apple, tobacco, bacon, pizza, crab legs, cucumber, and butter flavored nicotine delivery devices you know and crave wouldn't be affected.

You Can Still Buy Them Online: Like everything else.

Ingredients Needn't Ruin Packaging Aesthetic: The rules are not clear about whether the ingredients in e-cigs (nicotine, propylene glycol, flavoring, ???) will need to be printed on packaging. Litigation may clarify it further, or you might not see them at all.

Get Used To Stephen Dorff's Bare Chest: The rules do not restrict or ban TV advertising or any other forms of advertising. E-cig companies can sponsor lemonade stands or parties at the Jane. An act of Congress would be needed to keep Mr. Dorff and his little Blu friend off the air.

"Regulatory Process Could Take Years": Here's what the institutional investor meant when he told us the FDA is a "paper tiger." For 75 days, the FDA will take public comments on these rules, and then review them. Revisions will be made, and more discussion facilitated. "Lawsuits may extend the time even further," Herzog writes. "Bottom line - it will likely be years become [sic] fully effective."

Years for companies like Lorillard, Philip Morris, NJOY, and R.J. Reynolds to solidify their competitive advantages, and market and sell new products. Years for small businesses like Bedford Slims to accrue enough capital to submit their bespoke products for FDA review.

As for whether all that nicotine vapor is safe to hunker down in your lungs and esophagus for prolonged periods of time, the FDA is still figuring that out:

The FDA seeks answers to the many public health questions posed by products, such as e-cigarettes, that do not involve the burning of tobacco and inhalation of its smoke, as the agency develops an appropriate level of regulatory oversight for these products. The FDA seeks comment in this proposed rule as to how such products should be regulated.

New York City's indoor e-cig ban takes effect next Tuesday, though it's currently being challenged in court.