By now you have no doubt heard that the FDA has issued a series of proposals designed to regulate the E-Cigarette. FDA officials invited the public to comment on the existing proposals and the public responded with overwhelming support for e-cigarettes as there have been thousands of deeply personal commentaries shared at Regulations.gov.
The FDA and e-cigarettes have been on a crash course for some time. Daily we are inundated with news agencies running stories that quote various members of the ‘expert industry’. These experts are essentially paid to support a point of view. Well, the people in lab coats and the folks in suits and ties have had their say. As the FDA sits deliberating it’s time to listen to the genuine, non-theoretical experiences of real people that have found an oasis in vaping.
Remember that there are thousands of comments posted and many of them were very moving. We can only hope that someone is listening at the FDA. E-cigs have helped so many people lead better lives and their stories deserve at least as much airtime as a pundit in a white coat.
Comment 1: “I smoked between 2 and 4 packs a day for 35 years. I discovered e-cigarettes about 14 months ago and have never looked back at big tobacco since. I started out at 18 mg nicotine strength and I’m now down to 6 mg. I expect to be down to 3 mg before long. While the patch and gum, even with all of their side effects, are approved by the FDA, e-cigs seem to be under attack. E-juice is far healthier than the 4000+ harmful chemicals in traditional cigarettes that are for sale everywhere.”
Comment 2: “First of all let me begin with the fact that I was a tobacco smoker for forty years and e-cigarettes aided in my cessation. I was a 30-cigarette smoker per day and I am proud to say that it has been 431 days since my last cigarette!
“I grew up in a home where both parents smoked and I started at an early age. Like millions of other smokers I tried many times and used many products to abstain from tobacco but failed. I was introduced to vaping by a friend and after 30 days was finally successful in my efforts. I am healthier today as a result, breathing is easier, I can smell again and food tastes better! I have lost the desire to smoke a tobacco product!”
Comment 3: “I am writing to implore you to update your data and educate yourselves about the benefits of using e-cigarettes. As a heavy smoker for over 40 years, (two packs a day), I was desperate to find a way to quit smoking once and for all. I had just finished chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer when I found my answer.
“After trying everything currently available to quit, and being unsuccessful, the introduction of the e-cigarette was the answer to my prayers. I quit a 40 year habit in 4 days!! And have never desired smoking a cigarette again. I am no longer living in fear of getting a chest cold. I can breathe again.
“Please… PLEASE look at ALL the facts before making ANY decision that would make it harder for people to quit a habit that kills so many. Look inside your hearts, use your heads.”
Comment 4: “Hello, my name is ***** and I am 32 years old. I didn’t start smoking until I was 20 years old, but I wasted no time becoming a pack and a half a day smoker. I have tried a number of methods to quit including nicotine gum, the patch, hypnosis, Chantix, and cold turkey more times than I could ever count.
“I began using a larger e-cigarette and about six weeks ago threw away my last tobacco cigarettes. I started at 24 mg of nicotine and have worked my way down to 12 mg.
“In the two months that I have been vaping, I’ve already seen remarkable indications of my body healing itself. I no longer get winded walking up steps, I have energy, I no longer cough and hack all the time. I can breathe, I can smell and I can taste.
“I would ask that as a government body that is supposed to protect Americans and their health that you look at vaping for what it is, and it is clearly the best ting to come along in a long time (ever?) that will help Americans stop smoking traditional cigarettes, thereby improving health.
“This is a great opportunity for a product to help the masses and to rid our country of the scourge of smoking cigarettes and of the many health impacts that cost lives and money and is a drain on our society. That is what this should be about.”
Comment 5: “My name is **** and I began smoking at about 13 years old by sneaking cigarettes from my parents. I started smoking regularly at 18 when I could legally buy cigarettes. I am now 41 years old. I tried quitting several times without long-term success. I had begun to feel discomfort in my breathing and chest.
“In October, 2013 I was faced with a decision whether to buy a pack of cigarettes or to go to buy an e-cigarette. I picked up an e-cigarette and haven’t touched a cigarette since.
“While I do believe there needs to be some regulation, please do not do anything to hinder access to these products for adults and don’t provide a means for the tobacco companies to take control of this industry.”
There you have it. That is merely 5 stories of the thousands that were shared in the public comments section of regulations.gov urging the FDA and e-cigarettes to see each other as allies, as they well should.
No one has said the electronic cigarettes are a perfect solution. If quitting smoking were easy we would not be needlessly losing millions of lives worldwide each year. The risk of tobacco is real and the costs are extreme. Smokers deserve every option available.
The FDA e-cigarettes relationship will not be fully solved by these regulations. As time moves forward, the relationship will continue to evolve. In terms of understanding any possible long-term impacts from vaping those questions will be answered in time.
Common sense dictates that harm will be drastically reduced. Once the obvious becomes universally accepted, the FDA may realize that they e-cigs are the greatest ally in reducing smoking harm that we have ever seen.
Already, real people are experiencing a new lease on life thanks to e-cigarette. FDA officials are hopefully reading all of the comments that were submitted and giving the experiences of actual human beings at least equal weight to the theories of the expert industry.
Once again, these are real comments from real people that have first hand experience finally escaping tobacco. These are the real success stories of e-cigarettes. FDA, are you listening?