Recently on June 18, FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb delivered some surprising remarks which actually were somewhat favorable towards the vaping industry. These comments occurred at the “FDA’s Nicotine and Tobacco Regulation and the Key Role of Regulatory Science” at the Tobacco Regulatory Science Program Meeting. While the FDA has been extremely strict and unwilling to budge on their stance on certain issues (Free Sample Ban, Pre-Market Application), during this meeting, Gottlieb admitted that e-cigs do in fact “reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with tobacco use.”
He admitted that a “continuum of risk” exists, stating:
“[w]e believe in the concept of a continuum of risk related to tobacco products, and we believe there is a role for modified risk products. Further, we want to preserve e-cigs as one among a number of possible options for adult smokers and believe that fully transitioning smokers to ENDS can reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with tobacco use.” Preservation of e-cigs as a possible option for adult smokers entails better understanding “the potential benefits of electronic nicotine products as smoking cessation tools.”
The National Academies of Science’s recent report was referenced during his remarks. This report states, with certainty, that e-cigs and vape products are less harmful than traditional cigarettes. But there is one little issue with Commissioner Gottlieb’s new found love for vape products: teen use. He feels that teens never have any good reason to use a tobacco product. This is whether or not there is a factor of reduced harm.
Let’s take a look at this. E-cigs are decimating the combustible cigarette industry and millions of people are using them to quit. Not only that, but teen smoking AND vaping rates are down. So, the FDA is going to punish an ENTIRE industry and potentially KILL millions upon millions of people because of the so-called “teen vaping epidemic”? How is this okay? This position is almost entirely unique to the US because the FDA is in the pocket of the drug companies. It’s all a business because they get money every time a harm reduction product is approved and they want to do the same for the vape industry. Surprise, surprise — the government wants in on the booming vape industry! They are doing this with what’s called “Pre-Market Applications”. At $1 million each, vape companies will have to apply to get each and every product they produce approved by the FDA (even those already on the market).
But two organizations are fighting this. Nicopure Labs, LLC and the Right To Be Smoke-Free Coalition are heading up the appeals process to these Deeming Regulations which were ruled in favor of the FDA back in August 2016. You can donate to the extremely costly appeals process here.
We, as members of the vaping community, must fight for the right to stay healthy. Keep correcting misinformation you hear, spread articles that tell the truth and support companies that are fighting the good fight. Vaping could be a public health revolution, if only the FDA would listen to, not only what they themselves are saying, but also to the people whose lives vaping has literally saved!
**The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not reflective of the position of MBV**
You may also like our blog on why vapes aren’t tobacco products!