Why The FDA Is Once Again Changing Course On Vaping Regulations
According to a recent press release, the FDA is updating a few parts of its policy on the upcoming deeming rules.
This has already proven to be a hectic year for the vaping industry, with plenty of changes combined with an ever-present sense of unease. We’ve already seen a lot of policy updates around the country and world that have many experts worried. The FDA is currently one of the more significant factors in this problem, as they’re still pursuing harsh regulations on e-cigarettes that many believe aren’t having the desired effect. Things are only getting worse as Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb recently announced his intention to leave his post by next month. This massive news has actually helped another major story go under the radar over the last couple of weeks.
A few days after announcing he would be resigning from his post in April, Dr. Gottlieb shared a release which outlined the FDA’s intention to alter how they’re handling the upcoming deeming rules. Likely the most significant change for all vapers is the shortened timetable, meaning the unpopular law will take effect in 2021 and not 2022. This was met with mixed reactions from those who even noticed, with most vapers feeling it’s merely another policy Dr. Gottlieb wants to push through before he leaves. One thing is for sure, whatever happens over the next couple of weeks will likely have a significant impact on the vaping industry moving forward.
In the release issued earlier this month, the FDA outlined how they would be altering their policy on nicotine and e-cigarettes. They claim to be aiming to end their current compliance policy in regards to flavored vapes, and place a more significant focus on restricting those brands which they believe are actively marketing toward children. While this sounds reasonable enough, the truth is the FDA will likely use this as an excuse to restrict any vaping product without proper oversight. Additionally, the deeming rules which were originally postponed for nearly five years will now go into effect a full year early.
When they were first introduced by the Obama Administration, many felt they didn’t give makers enough time. The law would have required any vaping products legally sold in the US to submit and pass a Pre-Market Tobacco Application. These long and complicated applications are what the tobacco industry currently faces whenever they bring a new product to market. While these regulations make sense for deadly cigarettes, experts warn that applying these laws to vaping will only give a distinct advantage to Big Tobacco and their deep pockets.
The Value Of Vaping
The FDA ought to take a good hard look at the peer-reviewed information we have on the benefits of vaping. For starters we’ve known since 2015 thanks to the FDA’s English counterpart, PHE that vaping is at least 95% safer than continued smoking. This type of harm reduction has been noted time and again over the last several years, with even as recently as a few months ago researchers concluded smoking has about 93% more toxicants than vapor. However, you don’t truly understand how much is at stake until you realize the excess lifetime cancer risk of a smoker is about 57,000 times higher than a demographically similar vaper.
But perhaps the most significant reason it’s okay to support vaping is in regards to their effect on teens. You often hear from the FDA and others how teens are at a higher risk of smoking because of vaping. The large scale research on the topic begs to differ, with a report of over 60,000 students concluding that only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever picking up vapes regularly. This means even less are ever starting to smoke because of an e-cigarette. It might not be a mystery as to why either. As reports have concluded that not only is vaping an effective smoking cessation tool, but it’s the most likely to lead to a successful quit attempt.
With Commissioner Gottlieb set to leave office in a few weeks, things are getting extremely hectic around the vaping industry. No one knows exactly what comes next, as we wait to hear who President Trump taps for the job. Who it is will have the most substantial impact on what happens moving forward. They could continue on this new path, or they could even make things worse. But if we’re lucky, the next FDA Commissioner will be someone willing to look past the partisan arguments and look into the independent research which proves vaping is one of the most valuable harm reduction and smoking cessation tools of all time.
Do you think it’s a big deal if the deeming rules are moved forward? Is it a big deal Dr. Gottlieb is leaving his post? How should we work to spread positive information to the smokers around us? 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.