Bureaucrats and politicians think smoking cripples a life-saving alternative – Reason.com

Electronic cigarettes, which deliver nicotine without tobacco or combustion, are the most important harm-reducing alternative to smoking, which can prevent millions of premature deaths in the United States alone. Yet bureaucrats and politicians are determined to reject that historic opportunity through rules and taxes that threaten to cripple the industry.

When the court’s deadline for “premarket” approval of vaping products came and went on September 9, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received millions of applications but gave no approval. As a result, the agency says, every vaping device and nicotine liquid sold in the United States is “marketed illegally” and is subject to “FDA-mandated enforcement measures.”

Seven years after the FDA officially announced its intention to regulate the “electronic nicotine delivery system” (ENDS) as a “tobacco product,” the industry remains in legal turmoil, thanks only to the agency’s enforcement prudence and limited resources. Despite the FDA’s promise of regulatory flexibility, it is perpetuating a situation where manufacturers do not know whether they will still do business next week, next month or next year.

The FDA has rejected millions of applications for nicotine liquids in flavors other than tobacco, a product that previous smokers preferred. Since those tastes also appeal to teenagers, the agency says, they will only be approved if manufacturers present evidence of “strong,” “reliable” and “product-specific” evidence that their benefits to quit smoking outweigh the risk that they would encourage younger age. Steam

No one knows what that means, although the FDA says “evidence of the benefits of adult smokers for such products will probably be in the form of a randomized controlled trial or longitudinal survey.” Such research, in addition to being the largest company, and even the FDA’s approval of their products “appropriate for the protection of public health,” may be difficult for them to take into account the risks and benefits of the population. Totally. “

It is not enough for a manufacturer to show that its products are much less dangerous than conventional cigarettes, under the highly subjective criteria that are mandatory by the Family High Smoking and Tobacco Control Act of 200. And it’s not enough to show that nontobacco flavors are hugely popular among ex-smokers, as the FDA can still decide, but obviously, the risk of underage use outweighs the well-being of smokers who are interested in vaping potential life-saving switches.

Survey data indicate that the majority of adolescents who smoke regularly are current or former smokers, which means the FDA fears that ENDS is creating an “epidemic” of nicotine addiction in adolescents. So the fear is that vaping is a “gateway” to smoking among adolescents who would never otherwise use nicotine; If anything, recent trends suggest that the availability of ENDS has accelerated the downward trend in adolescent smoking.

The folly of juvenile vaping resistance obsessions was evident in San Francisco, where bans on flavored ENDS appear to have increased smoking among adolescents and young adults. That precautionary example did not prevent other jurisdictions from considering the same opposite principle.

If heavy-handed federal and local regulations are not enough to deter smokers from quitting, House Democrats have proposed an excise tax that would double or triple the price of e-liquids. The Georgia Vap store owner told me, “This tax won’t just kill my business.” Because Fellow Christian Britshaggy. “It will kill Americans.”

Last month American Journal of Public Health, 15 prominent tobacco researchers warned that “policies aimed at reducing the vaping of adolescents could also reduce the efforts of adult smokers to stop using e-cigarettes.” They stressed that “the potential life-saving benefits of e-cigarettes for adult smokers demand equal attention to the risks to young people.”

While the FDA acknowledges the potential for loss of ENDS, in reality it is short-sighted. Meanwhile, other policymakers are moving forward in such a way that the lives of smokers have no value.

© Copyright 2021 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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