Published on August 15th, 2016 | by Jimmy Hafrey
The Food and Drug Administration struck a blow to public health this week.
The agency’s vaping regulations took effect this past Monday. Aside from the newsworthy PMTA process and expected business closure announcements, there is something else worth mentioning:
Smokers were absent from the discussion of vaping. To be more succinct, the FDA ignored smokers when measuring its now implemented regulations.
This is baffling, considering that smokers are the biggest demographic in the vaping community. They received zero value from the FDA during its vape investigation. Smokers, and the lives saved by vaping were also not taken into account for the deeming regulations.
This is important because it highlights the FDA’s poor attempt at an investigation into vaping. In fact, it’s perhaps the biggest blunder the agency has made in the entire discussion.
Part of the problem with the FDA’s deeming regulations is that it actually bans vape shop owners from sharing lifesaving information, such as studies that show that vaping is better for you than smoking traditional cigarettes. Vapers also are banned from giving out samples and showing customers how to use the devices.
And, even more worrying, the FDA has essentially banned any new vape technology for vape devices, also known as “electronic nicotine delivery systems.” This means that for the next two years, vape technology will be at a standstill.
All the meddling the FDA is doing in the vape industry is further highlighted by the agency’s complete failure to understand the driving force behind vaping: The need to quit smoking traditional cigarettes.
According to Forbes Contributor Jacob Sullum, the deeming regulations undermine public health, especially where the vaping versus smoking argument is concerned. The majority of the 8.3 million American vapers are former smokers or smokers who are trying to quit. The agency’s overreach is expected to turn at least some of these people back to smoking.
And if people turn back to smoking, there’s a loss of quality of life for them. Returning to smoking after vaping can cut a person’s life short, especially when you consider the research that has been done comparing e-liquids to traditional cigarettes.
Still, the FDA claims that the “regulation of ENDS will still benefit public health.” The FDA seems to be under the assumption that regulation without proper investigation will be enough to be useful to public health.
But is it?
The FDA has already shown a willingness to forgo various studies that prove that vaping is better for you than tobacco products. It proved this point by categorizing vape products as tobacco. It proved it yet again when the FDA said that vape products without nicotine will also be regulated under the statute.
So the question is, what comes next? The vape industry will not be able to survive under these conditions, leaving many to wonder if there will even be an industry in a few years.
Who loses if this becomes the case? We all do, but especially smokers. Without vaping as an alternative to smoking, they will return to the dangerous habit, cutting their lives short.
Let’s hope the FDA can come to terms with that bit of news.