Massive News! The FDA Set To Place “Severe Restrictions” On Vaping
According to several sources, the FDA will soon announce a plan that could severely alter the vaping industry
Ever since vaping first became a massive industry, people have wondered about the risks it potentially poses. Sadly, despite the growing amount of evidence proving the value of e-cigarettes, things have only continued to get worse for the community. The FDA has been conducting what they’ve referred to as a blitz, cracking down on the marketing, conducting stings to test age verification techniques, and demanding thousands of documents from manufacturers about their products and strategies.
The suspense has continued to ramp up in the past few months, as the FDA takes further action without setting a defined plan. They’ve even refused to share the data and statistics behind these decisions. But things could be set to get a whole lot worse as according to the several news outlets, the FDA will be rolling out “severe restrictions” including a ban on flavors in as little as a few weeks.
The Potential Ban
The possibility of a flavor ban has been discussed before but has never been as likely as it is now. Gottlieb has freely discussed how he’s under the impression that the flavors used in e-liquids are luring younger demographics into vaping more than they’re doing any good for adult smokers. Despite a lack of evidence, Gottlieb also believes that the use of vaporizers will ultimately lead to teens transitioning to a life of smoking combustible cigarettes. According to sources such as the Washington Post, the FDA will start with a ban on flavored e-cigarettes. It’s also expected that there will be much harsher consequences implemented regarding age verification in online sales.
The possibility of banning flavors in tobacco products, such as menthol cigarettes, was discussed, but sources imply that the tobacco industry has used their considerable influence on the FDA to prevent such an occurrence. This highlights the massive gap between how the FDA treats new regulations on vaping compared with new regulations on the proven deadly cigarettes. Regardless, if teen vaping does not decline enough to satisfy them, the FDA will revisit several other ideas for control.
The Problems with a Ban
Many experts within the scientific community are criticizing Gottlieb’s efforts as overly harsh. David Abrams, professor in social and behavioral sciences at NYU said “We have to be really careful not to overreact.” The evidence we have on the topic is clear, including a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research which analyzed the potential outcomes of different types of flavor bans. Bucknell and his team interviewed over 2000 vapers about their vaping habits, their journey to quit smoking cigarettes, as well as what they would do in various scenarios. What they concluded was that while a flavor ban on menthol cigarettes would decrease cigarette usage significantly, the banning of e-liquid flavors would ultimately lead to many people returning to combustible cigarettes. This is a warning that we must take seriously.
Further highlighting the misguided logic of the FDA is the hard research we have on the effect of vaping among teens. A study conducted by Action on Smoking and Health of over 60,000 students aged 11-16 found that only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever trying vaping. Which means it stands to reason that a lot fewer than even the 0.5% of non-smoking teens who pick up vaping are ever transitioning into a life of traditional cigarettes. If the FDA took a good look at this type of research, they would realize the way they’re trying to reach their goals is actually hurting their cause.
It seems that many vapers worst fear may finally be coming true. The threat of a strict flavor ban has been on the table for several years, but now it’s staring us in the face. The FDA has continued to plow their way through the process without double checking to ensure that they’re doing what’s right. The bottom line is that vaping has been shown to be at least 95% safer than smoking and we even have evidence that it’s the best smoking cessation tool we have at our disposal too. Given that combustible cigarettes continue to be the leading cause of preventable death and disease around the globe, our federal health agency should be doing more to utilize all the benefits vaping has to offer. If we genuinely value ending the smoking epidemic once and for all, we must start supporting vaping, not continuing to undermine it.
Are you worried about the potential FDA flavor ban? Are you surprised they’re choosing now to make their push? How can we spread the positive information on vaping? 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.