But the FDA’s proposal fails. Miserably. Because their proposal is based on the wrong premise: that e-cigarettes should be regulated under the Tobacco Control Act.
|Let's not confuse e-cigarettes with the products that |
kill a half million Americans every year. They're different.
Since when is a sheep the same as a wolf?
E-cigarettes are NOT tobacco products. They do not contain tobacco. They’re technology products. And they should be regulated as such.
We’ve been waiting patiently since April 2011 when the FDA first announced its plans to regulate e-cigarettes. To say that their proposed regulations disappoint doesn’t even begin to touch how those of us in the industry feel.
Clearly, the FDA doesn’t understand the entire point of e-cigarettes. The reason e-cigarettes were invented was to mitigate the harm caused by cigarettes and other combustible tobacco products.
Putting them in the same category as tobacco products is like calling a sheep a wolf. One grazes and bleats. The other kills and eats.
E-cigarettes have grown overnight into a $1.2 billion industry because they address a key problem. One in every five – about 42 million Americans – still smokes, despite the well-known health risks. And that number hasn’t budged in years.
At least half of all smokers try to quit at least once – and many try to quit several times. But many are unsuccessful, because nicotine, which is NOT a carcinogen, is highly addictive. Quitting cold turkey is hard. The nicotine patch doesn’t work, for obvious reasons. Smokers are addicted to nicotine, but they’re also hooked on the habit.
The e-cigarette is a game changer in the smoking cessation market. (Yes, I just said “smoking cessation.” Please don’t report me to the FDA.)
All of the anecdotal evidence from millions of people who have switched to the e-cigarette is that they’ve reduced or eliminated smoking cigarettes altogether. They’re no longer taking in 4,000 chemicals and 60 known carcinogens into their lungs.
And while nearly a half million people have died every year of smoking-related diseases, not one person has died from e-cigarettes.
Sure, there have been some mishaps. Sure, we have a ways to go to ensure that these products and the e-liquids are as safe as possible. We also welcome and will propose regulations to prevent e-cigarettes from falling into the hands of minors.
However, I continue to laugh at the assertion that e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking, given the fact that vaping is not just safer; it’s also cheaper than smoking. I don’t know one person who would switch to a product that will cost them more – do you?
I have a lot more to say about the FDA’s pending regulations. But I’ll save that rant for another day.