The FDA has unveiled their intentions toward regulating electronic cigarettes and the measures are more austere than any tobacco company has ever come close to facing. While the UK is focusing on harm reduction, in the US regulators are seemingly obsessed with unfounded hypotheticals to an extreme level. The US lagging far behind the UK in developing policy based on reality and the result is smokers may be paying with their lives. Very sadly, we have seen this movie before.
Let’s be clear, the interests of public health are severely damaged by the impending FDA e-cigarette regulations. The US regulators have taken their eye completely off the ball and slipped into a delirium of denial. In the UK, the Royal College of Physicians just last week cited the overwhelming body of scientific evidence coming out with their recommendation that smokers switch to vaping. It is 1962 all over again.
In 1962, the Royal College of Physicians in the UK came out with a massive report definitively showing that smoking is a deadly hazard to human health. Immediately, the Royal College of Physicians was lambasted. Media and government here were hostile and dismissive. Of course it would take a full two years before public health officials in the United States would catch on and have the courage to go against special interests and do the right thing to protect public health.
In 1964, the US Surgeon General’s followed the leadership of the Royal College of Physicians and for the first time raised the alarm about smoking. In that two year lag, how many young people started smoking who would otherwise not have? Were there still ads of doctor’s recommending cigarettes? How many people would have made an attempt to quit that might have saved their lives? In 1964 and now, the lives of smokers don’t seem to be a blip of the radar of US regulators.
Smoking History Repeats Itself
Fast forward to 2016. Within days of the Royal College of Physicians reporting that smokers should switch to vaping in order to reduce tobacco harm and that the mounting body of evidence shows that vaping is less harmful than smoking, within days the FDA announced, conveniently hidden by an election cycle, a series of oppressive electronic cigarette regulations that will limit access to a smoking alternative.
It is 1962 all over again. Back then, the Royal College of Physicians in the UK sounded the alarm about smoking two years before the US followed suit. In 2016 the Royal College recommends vaping to smokers while in the US the FDA is essentially making smoking cigarettes easier that vaping. In fact, vaping is being smeared and treated more harshly than smoking ever was.
Think about this. Teen smoking has fallen to the lowest rates in history, so have smoking rates overall. Has vaping helped reduce smoking rates? Well it could be a coincidence but unlikely. Millions of Americans now vape instead of smoke and that many people is going to show up statistically. So, smoking rates are at their lowest, the media and special interests are P-Hacking studies to scare people about vaping and whipping up a frenzy.
What does this frenzy lead to? Well besides these oppressive, overreaching regulations, in which metallic devices are regarded as tobacco products, this frenzy has led to many states raising the legal age to purchase tobacco. Ok, that’s not a bad law, right? Let’s keep kids from smoking. But here is where things get mysterious.
So, up to and into the 70’s and again in the 90’s, teen smoking rates spiked often. The general smoking rate was also much higher. We had epidemics of teen smoking. Where were the smoking age laws then? Why did the laws reportedly to protect kids from smoking not even show up until smoking rates are at their lowest? Isn’t that weird? It is vaping that is being targeted, not smoking. Let’s be real clear on that.
Despite the science and the acceptance of “less harmful” by the scientific and medical leadership of the UK, the FDA will not even let any vape be mentioned as being less harmful. Right now people by vapes to reduce harm but in the future no vape company will be allowed to even inform the consumer why they should even be trying a smoking alternative! This is truly a malignant irrational collection of regulations. It almost sounds like they want you to stick with cigarettes? Could that be?
Easier To Bring New Cigarettes To Market Than A Vape
Well, consider this. In order for a vape brand to sell a new product they will have to pay millions to prove that they meet standards. Just meeting the standards, which every vape brand will happily do, is meaningless. Now, get a load of this.
If you want to take some tobacco, spray it with ammonia, arsenic, DDT, radioactive elements and hundreds of other toxic cigarette additives, well that’s all good. So, spay your tobacco down with a vile concoction of chemical nightmares, roll it in paper to sell a new type of cigarette, the pathway to market is a breeze in comparison. That’s right. It is going to be much easier to bring new cigarettes to market than it will be to bring an electronic device that heats a liquid to market. Does that make any sense to you?
You know what, call and ask your member of Congress if it makes sense that it will be easier to manufacture and market cigarettes than it will be to sell vapor products to adult smokers. No matter how you feel about vaping you have to admit that this is not really reasonable by any measure. Then ask them to support HR 2058 in the interest of public health.
They say that those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them. In the United States, those charged with the responsibility of establishing regulations that promote public health have clearly not learned much of anything at all. We are repeating the pathetic response of 1962 all over again. This time, by depriving access to a less harmful option by denying that it is less harmful at all.