Is There Hope With The FDA And Vaping?
There is hope that the FDA is coming around to seeing vaping as beneficial, and it comes in the form of Mitch Zeller, the director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products.
CPS Daily News reported on a story last year that spoke about Zeller’s presence at the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association Conference. The conference centered on the idea of the consistent risk of nicotine and tobacco products and finding solutions to limit the use of tobacco products overall, which would then lead to a decrease in the use of nicotine products.
Much to the surprise of attendees, Zeller was overheard telling pro-vaping advocates that they were “preaching to the choir” when they demanded an open debate on the differences between vaping and smoking traditional cigarettes, and also asking for a change in how vaping was portrayed both in medical circles as well as in public.
The director also reassured attendees that the agency was seriously considering the issues and concerns that vaping companies raised with the FDA about not being able to fiscally commit to pre-review market trials, along with not having the funds to compete with the misinformation campaign Big Tobacco was waging against the vaping community.
Zeller expanded on a point, which this website hopes he will follow through on, that he made at the NATO show, where he stated that the CTP was funding an exploratory study into the potential role that “therapeutic nicotine” could play in the public. This study and research was done in collaboration with other FDA centers like the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research and the Center for Devices and Radiological Health.
Bonnie Herzog, Wells Fargo’s senior tobacco analyst and an attendee of the SFATA said at the time that Zeller seemed to agree with the notion that the current public and social debate needed to focus more on the benefits of vaping, instead of the alarmist views of Big Tobacco.
She went on to say that “Encouragingly, Director Zeller underscored the importance of ‘opening up the dialogue’ across various stakeholders in the nicotine space, suggesting to us that he and the agency remain committed to using science and data to shape regulation while recognizing the nicotine continuum of risk, which is consistent with his previous comments.”
The debate is far from over; however, with the optimistic and open-minded views of Director Zeller, it seems that the vaping community might find an ally at last. Still, there is much work to be done, and this site will continue to bring you updates on Zeller’s position as the battle to keep vaping legal, affordable, and accessible continues.