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FDA Commissioner Tweets Support Of Flavors Ban

FDA Commissioner Tweets Support Of Flavors Ban

 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been reluctant to say anything positive about vaping in their reviews of studies and recent tweets by the administration’s commissioner preview bad news for vaping and a potential further clampdown on vaping products recommended in the future. The next target that they’re pushing is a ban flavored e-juice based on the problematic assumption that flavored e-juice is marketed specifically to teenagers.


FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb used to be one of the most ardent supporters of vaping and, at one point, even invested in vape shops, according to Bloomberg. The report states that from March 2015 to May 2016, Gottlieb was a director of Kure Corp., a Charlotte, North Carolina-based firm that distributes e-juices and vaping pens in coffeehouse-style lounges known as vaporiums.


For his connection, Gottlieb was thought of as an ally for the vaping industry, and why it was surprising when he sent out multiple tweets calling e-cigarettes “troubling” and signaling that they were looking to prevent the next generation from accessing any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes, even though e-cigs are not tobacco products. The commissioner based his decisions on a 2016 CDC National Youth Tobacco Survey that was, at the very least, misleading in its results.


Flavored e-liquid is one of the most loved parts of vaping and really sets itself apart from combustible cigarettes and gives smokers a much more relaxing and tasty buzz, enticing them to switch over. In fact, in a survey by the vape advocacy group, the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), and they found that a vast majority of adult vapers cited flavor as important to attempts to quit.


Tweets


Gottlieb based his comments on a CDC analysis of the 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey, saying that 31 percent of the surveyed teens say they vape because of availability of flavors when in fact, the question on the survey says the availability of “flavors such as mint, candy, fruit, or chocolate”

“The troubling reality,” tweeted Gottlieb, “is that e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among youth. Preventing youth from initiating the use of any tobacco product, including e-cigs, is critical.”


He forebodingly went on to say that the FDA will continue to “limit youth appeal” which is essentially code for looking to crack down on flavored e-liquid.

“Protecting future generations from all nicotine-containing products remains a top priority,” Gottlieb says in another tweet. “#FDA’s efforts seek to restrict youth access, limit youth appeal. We’ve also expanded public education efforts to include messaging re: dangers of youth use of e-cigarettes.”


San Francisco


Asserting that young people shouldn’t get into vaping or smoking at too early an age is a good thing. It’s also important for sensible regulations to be based on facts instead of hyperbole and scare tactics. Even more troubling is that in some cities like San Francisco, a ban on flavored e-juice has already been passed as part of legislation.


In July, San Francisco was the first city in the country to pass a law officially banning the sale of flavored "tobacco" products, including vape flavored e-juice. There are many challenges to the law, but pending that none of the challenges are successful, the ban will go into effect on April 1, 2018, and would be a major blow to convenience stores and vape shops.


Reasons for the ban in San Francisco were similar as the reasons given by Gottlieb. For instance, they said that flavored e-liquid targeted “vulnerable” populations. These decisions gloss over all the vapers who used to smokers and found flavored tobacco to be a saving grace when it comes to staying away from cigarettes.


Conclusion


With the Trump administration’s appointment of Scott Gottlieb as FDA Commissioner, the vaping community had reason to be hopeful about the future of the government’s acceptance of our beloved hobby, pastime, and passion. However, that would not prove to be true, and, given the climate of prohibition the current administration is looking to clamp down even more so on vaping, with the first step being a prohibition of flavored e-juice.

acuity