Companies Sue Over Unfair Regulatory Practices
A group of hundreds of vaping companies recently filed a lawsuit against the FDA over their updated timeline for their PMTA.
Despite all the positive research we now have on vaping, many people are still convinced they’re causing more harm than good. Even worse, this trend is very strong among legislators, who are continually implementing new and misguided law in an effort to reign in vaping and smoking.
Luckily, a ton of the research we have over the last ten years strongly indicates vaping is one of the single most effective harm reduction and smoking cessation tools currently on the market. However, even with all this positive research, the FDA recently decided to move up the starting date of their controversial PMTA.
The move is just the latest date change for the Pre-Market Tobacco Application, which was at one point not set to take effect until 2022. Regardless, the latest updates mean the vaping industry will be scrambling to meet the high standards of FDA testing, something experts believe will destroy many small businesses.
To fight back against the unfair regulation, a group of over 800 vaping companies has joined together to sue the FDA over this sweeping decision. While many are split on the outlook of this new lawsuit, it’s always great to see the vaping industry join together and stand up to misguided regulation.
When the PMTA was first announced back in 2015, it was met with immediate pushback from the vaping industry. The law would allow the FDA to regulate vaping under the same rules as smoking, requiring companies to pass intense certification before being sold legally.
While massive Big Tobacco conglomerates have the funds to satisfy these stringent tests, the vast majority of vaping companies are small and unable to meet standards. As such, experts worry this move will ultimately lead to a seismic shift in the industry, where the independent vaping industry we enjoy today is a thing of the past. Even worse, it will provide Big Tobacco the perfect opportunity to steal market share.
In an effort to fight this new regulation, the Vapor Technology Association recently filed a lawsuit in US District Court in Kentucky. The association, made up of over 800 vaping companies including Juul Labs, is making the case that the new May 2020 deadline will “wipe out” most of the smaller companies which make the vaping industry to vibrant.
They also argue the FDA is making it nearly impossible for these companies to adequately prepare for the PMTAs, as now they’ve changed the deadline a staggering five times. According to executive director Tony Abboud, “It is time for FDA to stop moving the goalposts and changing the rules in the middle of the game to the detriment of our manufacturers and small businesses.”
Vaping Is Effective
Vaping has a lot to offer smokers. Not only have studies found it to be an excellent tool for harm reduction, but it also has been proven to be the strongest smoking cessation tool on the market. It was all the way back in 2015 that Public Health England, England’s equivalent to the FDA, published reports that found vaping to be at least 95% safer than smoking cigarettes. This study has been supported multiple times in the years since. It was the Journal of Aerosol Sciences published a study which found that the excess lifetime cancer risk, or the likeliness of someone to develop cancer beyond genetic predisposition, is 57,000 times lower for someone who vapes, verses a smoker of comparable background.
The benefits of quitting smoking are innumerable, and vaping is the most effective way to help people get there. A study conducted out of the University of Louisville looked at various smoking cessation tools on the market, including nicotine gum, patches, and even prescription drugs like Chantix. They found that vaping was the most effective tool at helping smokers quit long term.
Despite all of this data, it has been found that only 13% of adults acknowledge and believe that vaping is safer than smoking. 26% are still under the misconceived notion that vaping is as bad if not worse for an individual’s health.
While regulation of the vaping industry as a whole is not unwelcome or unexpected, it is disheartening to see vaping treated in such an unfair manner. Not only do the testing and regulation standards make it easier for Big Tobacco to manipulate the system with their immense capital, but aligning the two products sends the message that vaping is the same as smoking. This implication keeps many people who could use these tools to quit smoking from doing so believing, mistakenly, that it will make no difference.
The standards, though still delayed, will have an immense impact on the vaping industry, putting many of the smaller businesses involved at risk. The costs of these standards will likely ripple through the products themselves. How it will play out is unknown, but it will almost certainly be to the detriment of the vaping industry and vapers alike.
What do you think about these standards? Do you believe it is right to hold vaping and smoking to the same standards? What’s the best way we can fight back against misguided information? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.
(Image Credit – Pixabay – https://pixabay.com/photos/people-adult-woman-smoke-a-3252561/)