What can I say, it’s been a really bad month, actually just one bad week for Vaping. For every study that comes out showing how effective vaping can be to help smokers quit and minimize the health effects caused by smoking, 5 negative stories come out about vaping, and it’s only getting worse. The debates are quickly heating up, the pressure is building and something is going to happen soon, and as of today, it does NOT look good for us. Here’s a really brief recap of some of the important things that recently happened:
March 28th VAPE PHARMACEUTICALS
FDA commissioner, Dr. Gottlieb says:
-“The FDA may consider regulating e-cigarettes as an over-the-counter drug”
-“FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb says this status would give the agency more tools to look at the safety and benefits of e-cigarettes”
This is really bad. I don’t want to go to CVS to buy my vape from the pharmacist which was supplied by the pharmaceutical industry. I guess I’m old fashioned? This is not a medicine, it is not intended to treat any conditions, it is a lower risk alternative to smoking. Classifying it as a medicine will change the market forever, in a bad way.
For a more detailed review by someone much smarter than me, read this:
March 27th LAWSUIT
Several anti-smoking groups are suing the Food and Drug Administration over a decision by Trump administration officials (FDA commissioner Dr. Gottlieb) to delay the review of e-cigarettes.
The groups say the delay poses a threat to children’s health. The group includes American Heart Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. They go on to speak about the dangers and popularity of “JUULing” by teens. (if you noticed an increase of stories in the news about JUULing recently, this is why)
It’s worth noting, most legal experts agree this lawsuit is more about exposure than actually having any merit. The FDA is currently not ready to accept the amount of data that the vape industry is going to and has already submitted, not to mention the manner in which we submit it was designed for tobacco, like cigarettes, so it’s really difficult to complete the information for vapor products. I'm not to concerned with the legal ramifications, but the court of public opinion will be swayed, again.
March 24th FLAVORS
FDA publishes their “advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM)” and begins to accept public comments on the regulation of flavored tobacco products, including E-liquid.
This is not good, this has historically indicated the FDA already has a game plan but are going through the “formal process” before implementing it. This is really bad. It will be interesting to see how this pans out, as I have already talked about this being a very slippery slope sure to initiate many lawsuits. Even tobacco flavored vapes are ……. FLAVORED! Cigarettes aren’t flavored to taste like tobacco, they are tobacco, so regulating vape flavors is going to pose an interesting task for any agency; we will watch this closely as Trabuco is in an obviously unique position for this kind of regulation. Who decides what tastes like tobacco? What even tastes like tobacco? There’s a lot of potential ramifications of the regulation of flavors, so we will keep watch on this.
March 16th NICOTINE
FDA publishes their “advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM)” and begins to accept public comments on “Product Standard for Nicotine Level of Combusted Cigarettes”
The stated goal of the FDA is to lower nicotine in tobacco products to make them “Non-addictive” to smokers (tobacco users, including vapers)
So, two serious concerns with this proposal: More smoking and black market. This regulation will definitely affect vape products as well, and for you DIY’ers, they were ready for that. The proposal included regulating nicotine products that could be used to add nicotine content to cigarettes or E-liquid.
Look, opinions be damned, this is a form of prohibition. We know that prohibition does not work. If people aren’t satisfied with low nicotine cigarettes (99% less nicotine than current levels) they will find the cigarettes they want. Black markets and criminal organizations will thrive! Also, the obvious concern is people will just smoke more to get the nicotine they want.It’s almost unbelievable that this is being considered, until you realize the groups supporting these initiatives depend on cigarette sales to stay in business, so if they could just come up with some diabolical plan that they could get the public to support that would cause people to buy more cigarettes, increasing revenue for states and tobacco control groups, but appear to be in the interest of the public, everyone wins! Right?
So, yeah, this has been a bad week for vaping and freedom, really bad. As each day passes, the future looks even worse for the industry as we know it. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess if E-liquid as we know it will be around in a couple years. If all these proposals pass, the only vape we will be able to get will be 0.0005mg unflavored eliquid manufactured by Pfizer and available by the local pharmacist…… which I for one will not be using. All of this is in the early stages, so things can and will change, but the posturing by the FDA this week is not looking good.
Vaping has changed the way I view our world and government. First and foremost, all of these issues directly violate our freedom of choice. The fact that the government is using laws to protect us from ourselves is wrong. These laws to me represent ignorance of the past failures of prohibition; it represents the current mindset that encourages the war on drugs. These regulations prove that not only do special interests in the form of big business exist, but have a heavy hand in legislation that works in their favor. I hope people apply this philosophy equally to all subjects, not just vaping, or one they hold dear. This kind of intrusion can, does, and will continue to infringe on our rights as people, whether it’s vaping, sugar, porn, alcohol, drugs, or guns….. the government has no right to use legislation or laws to protect us from ourselves, we are free to think for ourselves, and make decisions as we see fit. Some of our choices will be wrong, but as long as it doesn’t affect others, it isn’t anyone’s concern. I hope common sense prevails, and the FDA and government does what's right, but I wouldn't bet on it.