The FDA Is Set To Drop The Hammer On Vaping After A Recent Move
The FDA recently gave their plan for an e-liquid flavor ban over to the White House, a final step before it can be enforced.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb is one of the more polarizing figures in the vaping debate, and it’s not hard to see why. It wasn’t long after he first took office that he decided to push back the controversial deeming rules until 2022, a move widely applauded by the vaping community. Some were even hoping that it was a sign of things to come from the FDA in regards to vaping, but it didn’t take long for things to take a turn for the worse. As concern over teenage vaping has risen, Dr. Gottlieb and the FDA have taken a tough stance on the harm reduction and smoking cessation tools, making a flavor ban their primary goal. This threat is very close to becoming a reality, as the FDA recently gave their final proposal to the White House.
This final step in the process ensures Dr. Gottlieb will make good on his promise to ban nearly all e-liquid flavors if he doesn’t like the direction things are heading. Evidently, this seemingly random target was missed, as the FDA readies to enforce their new ban. It’s likely to have dire consequences for not only the industry but millions of vapers who will have a harder time getting their needed goods. Making matters worse, experts believe this type of ban may even work against their intended goals.
A Matter Of Time
At the end of last week, Dr. Gottlieb turned in his administration’s plan to successfully ban most e-liquid flavors in brick and mortar stores across the nation. While the ban isn’t technically an outright ban, several of the stipulations make it effectively the same thing for many vapers. The Commissioner gave his report to senior White House officials with both the National Economic Council and the Domestic Policy Council. According to the plan, all e-liquid flavors except tobacco, mint, and menthol would no longer be able to be sold in stores where ID’s aren’t checked at the door before any customer enters. As such, any store could “technically” meet these requirements, but experts agree it’s likely adult only stores, which already have similar restrictions, that will be the only places carrying e-liquids. Given this type of store is infinitely less common than corner convenience stores, many vapers will find themselves without a reliable place to get e-liquids virtually overnight.
It was back in November the idle threats over a potential flavor ban started to become more real. Dr. Gottlieb has been working closely with his policymakers to hammer out the details for their flavor ban proposal. After it passed the Department of Health and Human Services standards, the FDA was able to take its plan directly to the White House. Even worse, it’s possible the regulation ends up reaching even further than a flavor ban according to Dr. Gottlieb in his report. Regardless, the White House said they don’t currently have any announcements regarding the status of the flavor ban.
The Case For Vaping
According to the FDA, their plan will significantly reduce the number of teenage vapers, but some reports indicate the opposite. According to a report by Dr. John Buckell of Yale University, if a flavor ban like that proposed by the FDA is passed, but cigarettes were left alone, it would give a serious advantage to Big Tobacco as vapers revert to their old habit. At the same time, he concluded that if flavors were left alone while menthol cigarettes were banned, it could reduce cigarette sales by 10%. We also have reason to believe vaping is the best smoking cessation tool on the market. A report out of the University of Louisville tested all the most common devices and methods for quitting smoking and found vaping even beat out prescription drugs. It also seems more and more likely the teenage vaping “epidemic” is being overblown. According to a report of over 60,000 students conducted by Action on Smoking and Health, only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever picking up vaping as a habit.
It’s an even more clear picture when you take a look at the harm reduction value e-cigarettes offer. Back in 2015, we got our first report from Public Health England which found vaping to be at least 95% safer than smoking. This type of result has become commonplace, as even just a few months ago researchers found vapor has 93% less toxicants than cigarette smoke. However, the most significant case to be made comes from a report in the Journal of Aerosol Sciences which concluded the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is about 57,000 times lower than a demographically similar smoker.
2019 is going to be a huge year for the vaping industry one way or another. If we can successfully fight off encroaching regulations, it could prove to be a massive step forward in the fight for the acceptance of the harm reduction and smoking cessation value of vaporizers. With the national flavor ban looking very likely, it’s more important now than ever to fight back and spread the good word about vaping. The more smokers who understand what’s at stake with e-cigarettes, the easier it will be to protect our vaping rights and fight back against misguided regulations.
Do you think the flavor ban is a big deal? Should the FDA be so concerned about vaping flavors? How should we spread positive information about vaping to those 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.