The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today published its “deeming regulations” for electronic cigarettes, requiring e-cigarette manufacturers to submit their products through an arduous federal approval process. The rules, which treat e-cigarattes as a “tobacco product,” apply to all vaping products that entered the market since February 15, 2007. That would essentially ban 99 percent of all vapor products currently on the market pending FDA approval. The regulation takes effect on August 8, 2016.
The following statements from vaping and smoking-cessation experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000.
“It is critical that today’s 39 million adult American smokers and nine million adult vapers continue to have access to lower-risk smoke-free products, including e-cigarettes. If the new FDA rule opens the door to continued legal marketing of tobacco harm-reduction products, it is a welcome public health measure. Keeping tobacco out of the hands of children is critical, but regulation must not impede adult access to these lifesaving products.”
“In an absurdly short-sighted move, the FDA has decided to place electronic cigarettes under an avalanche of new regulations by requiring them to be approved as a new tobacco product, nearly equating them to traditional cigarettes.
“Vaping is not the same as smoking tobacco products, and many smokers use e-cigarettes to stop smoking, thereby reducing the likelihood of suffering from serious tobacco-related illnesses in the future, such as lung cancer. E-cigarettes and other vaping devices have far fewer negative consequences for vapers and bystanders, and they should not be treated the same as tobacco products.
“These burdensome regulations, which could cost as high as $1 million per application, will block dozens of new, innovative products from even making it to the marketplace, leaving those who are looking for a less-harmful alternative to smoking with limited options.”
“The FDA is insisting that it is relying on sound science, but its decision today to regulate e-cigarettes and vaporized nicotine products as tobacco seems more like ‘regulated’ science. Numerous studies have shown that e-cigarettes and vaporized products cause significantly less health damage than traditional cigarettes, and that they’re just as effective as other nicotine replacement products, such as the patch, in helping smokers quit.
“This is a blow into the face of Americans who are trying to quit their addictions to tobacco. Perhaps most troubling is that the FDA is attaching the same stigma of cigarettes to these new products, instead of utilizing the effectiveness of these products to move smokers away from using tobacco. Today, the government just showed us how much American cigarette smokers are continuing to be babied by their nanny state, even when they’re trying to quit smoking.”
“The FDA’s decision to exceed its legislative mandate under the Tobacco Control Act of 2009, and effectively kill off a viable and proven method of smoking cessation, represents a win for Big Tobacco and a loss for consumers.
“E-cigarettes, by their nature, are a product used by consumers as a substitute for tobacco that lacks the carcinogenic substances produced by burning tobacco leaves in little pieces of rolled-up paper. Because e-cigarettes deliver lower levels of nicotine, but simulate an experience smokers find enjoyable, individuals wishing to quit smoking have found e-cigarettes to be a useful way to wean themselves off of nicotine. Conversely, tobacco companies benefit from the new rule, because FDA has now made it more difficult to quit smoking.
“For years, clinical studies have found that e-cigarettes empirically improve smokers’ chances of successful cessation. FDA’s actions today suggest that it is uninterested in actually helping people in ways proven to work.”
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