Monthly Archives: June 2016

E-cigarette regulation progress

Lynn Johnston’s For Better or for Worse comic strip of Friday, June 17th, 2016,  continues a smoking theme when Georgia, who marries Phil Richards, Eli Patterson’s younger brother, walks out on the deck and catches him smoking … or does she? With sleight of hand and quick reflexes the cigarette is not visible in the first three panels, only to reappear as Phil gasps for breath in the fourth.

For Better or for Worse fb160617

Phil is trying to fool Georgia, just like the E-cigarette industry is trying to fool the public about their product, claiming it’s to unhook smokers from regular cigarettes while using sex to sell them. (See, for example, 2013-07-12 P-D: New health concern about e-cigarettes?)

The recent announcement by the FDA that it would finally move to regulate E-cigarettes is welcome news. As recently noted, at present it’s more like the wild west. The E-cigarette industry, which has been growing by leaps and bounds, responded unsurprisingly by criticizing the move, vowing to fight it. After all, regulation is likely to crimp industry profitability, but public health and welfare should come first. The original rationale for E-cigarettes as helping smokers to quit is proving to be a fantasy, and regulation is definitely needed and overdue.

The FDA put out a News Release on May 5, 2016, with the following headline:

FDA takes significant steps to protect Americans from dangers of tobacco through new regulation

The move was met by opposition on-line and in the Congress. Jacob Sullum, a senior editor at Reason magazine, wrote a strong critique on reason.com titled:

The FDA’s Deadly E-Cigarette Regulations
The agency’s new rules threaten products that offer a much safer alternative to smoking.

On May 10th a lawsuit was filed by NICOPURE LABS in Florida arguing that ‘the FDA overstepped its authority under the 2009 Tobacco Control Act to include products that are “neither made nor derived from tobacco nor intended for human consumption.” ‘

There’s also reportedly push-back from Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), according to a May 19th news article by reporter Guy Bentley in the Daily Caller:

GOP Senator Challenges FDA On Crushing E-Cig Regulations

Let’s hope that cool heads prevail and the public health and not industry profits take precedence.