On Friday, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb told people at a public hearing in Silver Springs, Md. that, “If the youth use continues to rise, and we see significant increases in use in 2019, on top of the dramatic rise in 2018, the entire category will face an existential threat”.
Gottlieb showed data from the FDA that vape usage has nearly doubled over the past few years (though smoking rates are at a historic low). He particularly pointed out JUUL as a problematic company, and said that they “need to stop marketing to teens.”
JUUL for there part has pledged $30 million to combat teen vaping. Ted Kwong, a JUUL spokesman said, “Underage use of JUUL and any other vaping products is completely unacceptable to us and is directly opposed to our mission of eliminating cigarettes by offering existing adult smokers a true alternative to combustible cigarettes.”
“We are moving full steam ahead on implementing our action plan to limit youth usage, and this is unchanged since we announced our plan in November,” he added. “We will be a transparent, engaged, and committed partner with FDA, state Attorneys General, local municipalities, and community organizations in the effort to combat underage use.”
Unfortunately, the “teen vaping crisis” and the reaction to it, is harmful to the people who really need vaping to help them quit smoking. We are destroying a method of harm reduction (and an entire industry), and not thinking about the consequences of making this extremely effective method of quitting smoking unavailable. This is why we can’t have nice things.
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