The Food and Drug Administration’s new electronic cigarette regulations may condemn countless animals to death, and might hurt humans too.
Animal testing will be required before e-cigarette products can win approval from the FDA — that’s got some animal rights’ groups up in arms.
Under new rules issued by the FDA earlier this month, all e-cigarette and smokeless tobacco products will have to undergo extensive testing and earn FDA approval before they can enter or remain on the market. The new mandate is retroactive and covers all products released since 2008, a move that will add millions of dollars in compliance costs to the makers of e-cigarettes and could block 90 percent of existing products.
Gaining FDA approval for e-cigarette products will almost certainly require animal testing.
According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, the FDA is encouraging e-cigarette manufacturers to meet with its Center for Tobacco Products to discuss what, if any, animal testing the agency considers “appropriate” or whether non-animal tests may be acceptable.
“The CTP will expect manufacturers to conduct animal tests in support of marketing applications,” said Joseph Manuppello, senior research associate for PETA.
PETA fears that the number of animals suffering and dying in tobacco-related testing will rise dramatically. In the most common tests, rats are immobilized inside tubes and test substances are pumped directly into their noses for up to six hours each day, PETA said in a statement.
Eric Boehm ([email protected]) writes from St. Paul, Minnesota.