Insane New Threats From FDA Could Change Vaping Forever In Just 30 Days
Commissioner Scott Gottlieb once again made it clear he’s more than willing to outright ban vaping if things don’t improve to his liking
As a relatively new device, it’s not uncommon for vaporizers to receive a lot of scrutiny from public health institutions over their overall risk and impact, especially on teens. But while a growing pile of evidence indicates vaping is an extremely powerful smoking cessation and harm reduction tool, it’s had little impact on how much heat e-cigarettes get from the FDA. Things have been ramping up in the battle over vaping for the last couple of years, but it seems to be coming to a head as Commissioner Gottlieb continues his crusade against the vaping industry. Things have gotten so tense that he recently once again threatened to ban vaping outright in America if he doesn’t think things are getting better.
It’s not the first time he’s threatened such a move, but many fear the threat is becoming much more real every time it comes up. We’ve come a long way from when Dr. Gottlieb was first confirmed, and one of his first moves was to extend the deadline for the controversial deeming rules until 2022. At that point, many in the vaping community were rightfully hopeful Dr. Gottlieb would prove to be an ally for vaping, but ever since he’s made it clear, he’s anything but. In fact, things could get a lot worse soon, as he said the FDA could issue a formal e-liquid flavor ban within the next 30 days.
Threats against the vaping industry have become quite commonplace under Gottlieb, but by all accounts, things have been getting tenser between Gottlieb and the vaping industry. This time he is calling out Juul Labs and Altria for going back on their promises to do everything they can to curb teenage smoking. His main reasoning for their supposed betrayal is the deal the two companies struck late last year which sold a minority stake in Juul Labs to Altria for a reported $12.8 Billion. The agreement was met with mixed reactions, with some feeling it hurt Juul’s credibility as a smoking cessation device. But Gottlieb is taking it a step further and calling it proof of supposed “reneging.”
In a recent interview with the USA today, Commissioner Gottlieb took a very sarcastic tone when discussing the deal between the two companies. He was quoted as saying “Did something change? Do they have new data? Do they have a new understanding?” when speaking about Altria’s new perspective on vaping. Things got more serious when he said they should be publishing their flavor ban within the next 30 days, signaling massive changes for the industry on the horizon. He even went as far as to indicate he’d be fully willing to outright ban vaping if things didn’t improve to his liking.
Why Vaping Matters
While Dr. Gottlieb seems content to demonize the vaping industry, we have plenty of reason to believe e-cigarettes are extremely valuable harm reduction and smoking cessation tools. It’s not brand new information either, as going back as far as 2015 we have studies from Public Health England which prove vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking. But they’re not just long-standing figures; they’ve also been backed up over and over. Even as recently as this past December when a report concluded e-cigarette vapor contains about 93% fewer toxicants than tobacco smoke. But the true extent of harm reduction is evident when you realize the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is around 57,000 times lower than a demographically similar smoker.
Looking deeper than just the harm reduction value, you still find plenty of reason to love vaping. For starters, the claims about teenage vaping being a massive epidemic leading to more cigarette smokers have been hugely overblown. In fact, a report of over 60,000 students concluded only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever picking up a vape regularly, meaning a lot less are ever even trying a cigarette. It’s easier to understand why when you see all the evidence we have for the smoking cessation value of vaporizers. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Louisville concluded not only are e-cigarettes extremely good at helping people quit smoking, but they’re also more likely to be successful than anything else.
It seems the moment of truth for the vaping industry may be much closer than we first anticipated. If Dr. Gottlieb is to be believed, it could be less than 30 days before the US starts putting an e-liquid flavor ban into action. If this happens, it could ultimately hurt our tobacco control efforts much more than it helps anything. Vaping is proving itself to be one of the best harm reduction and smoking cessation tools we have at our disposal, and it ought to be treated as such. If we genuinely want to end the smoking epidemic once and for all, we should be working to utilize vaping properly, not doing everything we can to significantly limit their effectiveness.
Do you think Commissioner Gottlieb will make good on his promise to ban e-liquid flavors? Why do you believe vaping gets such a bad wrap among institutions like the FDA? What’s the best way to 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.