Vapers In America Have Fight On Their Hands To Stop Proposed Countrywide BAN Of Flavoured E-Liquid
American vapers and vaping advocacy groups have just 90 days to stop a possible ban on all flavoured e-liquids being sold in the country.
The Federal Drugs Administration [FDA] has announced its intention to look very closely at the impact both flavoured tobacco and e-liquids have on the take up of smoking and vaping by youngsters.
Scott Gottlieb the FDA Commissioner issued a statement yesterday laying out the reasoning behind the possible ban.
Despite his careful wording – looking very much like he personally wasn’t in favour of a flavoured e-liquid ban – it’s going to be tough and bitter fight.
He’ll face strong pressure and intense lobbying from anti tobacco and vaping groups baying quite literally for vapers and smokers blood – they do get a little excited about nicotine over the pond…
Gottlieb is calling on all concerned parties to consider the following points before making submissions to the FDA before the deadline:
- The role that flavors play in initiation and patterns of tobacco use, particularly among youth and young adults;
- The role that flavors may play in helping some adult cigarette smokers reduce cigarette use and/or switch to potentially less harmful tobacco products;
- The role that flavors in non-combusted tobacco products may play in quitting combusted tobacco products use, quitting all tobacco use or starting to use more than one type of tobacco product;
- Consumer perceptions of health risks and addictiveness of flavored tobacco products;
- Whether certain flavors used in tobacco products present potential adverse health effects to users or others; and
- The impact of local, state and international efforts to restrict the sale or marketing of flavored tobacco products
One of the more vociferous anti tobacco and vaping groups is outspoken Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids.
This organization has a record of powerful lobbying and have made no bones of the fact they think flavoured tobaccos and e-liquids are designed for one thing and one thing only – luring kids into smoking and vaping.
I know that’s not only a crazy notion with a ton of evidence proving otherwise but this group in particular is blinkered to say the least.
Flavoured E-liquids Only Designed To Hook Kids On Nicotine!
A recent report from them entitled – The Flavor Trap: How Tobacco Companies Are Luring Kids with Candy-Flavored E-Cigarettes and Cigars – leaves you in doubt as to their feelings on the subject.
In a press release about the report a spokesman for the Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids said:
Flavors have helped fuel the popularity of these products among kids.
Youth use of e-cigarettes soared from 2011 to 2015, surpassing use of regular cigarettes, and more high school boys now smoke cigars than cigarettes, surveys show.
A government study found that 81 percent of kids who have ever used tobacco products started with a flavored product, including 81 percent who have ever tried e-cigarettes and 65 percent who have ever tried cigars.
Youth also cite flavors as a major reason for their current use of non-cigarette tobacco products, with 81.5 percent of youth e-cigarette users and 73.8 percent of youth cigar users saying they used the products “because they come in flavors I like.”
Research has found that flavored tobacco products are more likely to be used by youth and young adults than by older tobacco users.
If this wasn’t such a serious topic I’d insert a few emojis here with the odd WTF??? But I won’t…
It gets worse because apparently when you reach ‘a certain age’ flavourings in tobacco or e-liquid doesn’t appeal!
Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said:
Tobacco products simply shouldn’t be sold in flavors that appeal to kids, let alone in thousands of flavors that make them seem fun and harmless.
When you see a gummy bear e-cigarette or a cherry dynamite cigar, there’s no doubt these products are aimed at kids. Our report makes abundantly clear why Congress must reject the proposals to weaken FDA oversight of products like e-cigarettes and cigars, including the flavored products that have flooded the market in recent years.
Congress shouldn’t be helping tobacco companies market candy-flavored products to kids.
It’s worrying to see the blurred lines between tobacco – tobacco products and independent e-liquid manufacturers which just goes to show the effect Big Tobacco has had on muddying the waters with all things vaping now linked to Big Tobacco.
It’s actually quite clever if you look at it from another angle as in if one falls we all fall.
The pro vaping advocacy groups and independent vape industry is gonna have a tough fight on their hands to say the least.
But is all hope lost before the start of the first round?
Has Gottleib Hinted He Might Not Support The Proposed Flavour Ban?
Scott Gottlieb is the closest the USA will ever get to an FDA Commissioner that not only understands the positive impact e-cigarettes have had and could continue to have on world health and smoking cessation and indeed his statement yesterday shows that.
However he still – like much of America – sees Nicotine as the biggest threat and he’s another who barely sees the line between the independent vaping industry and Big Tobacco referring constantly to the two as if they’re joined at the hip.
As far as the health effects nicotine possesses we’ve covered this a zillion times it seems and whilst some evidence suggests nicotine can be harmful to developing young brains in adults – and whilst it is addictive – it is nothing more than a mild stimulant in much the same way caffeine is.
If it was that dangerous they wouldn’t put in FDA approved patches – gums and sprays now would they 😉
I’ve written before that America sees nicotine as this big bad scary thing whilst their coffee and caffeine franchises invade country’s faster than their military and McDonalds it would seem…
Gottleib mentions speaking with vapers and finding out it was flavoured nicotine that really did help them quit smoking adding:
I’ve talked to ex-smokers, who’ve told me that they quit cigarettes altogether and that they now vape.
And they’ve also told me it was the flavors that helped them make that transition off combustible cigarettes.
Now I know anecdotes aren’t the same as data.
And the ANPRM specifically seeks data on this issue. But these personal stories are important to me as we shape our overall approach to smoking cessation.
And it’s important to me that we uphold the FDA’s responsibility to consider all sides and take into account, among other things, the risks and benefits to the population as a whole.
Like I said he seems to be swinging towards not bringing in a ban but continually mentions his commitments to not letting kids get anywhere near flavoured e-liquids and tobacco.
Now call me an idiot but even he agrees there are existing laws in place that prevents those underage from purchasing tobacco and e-liquids so why even consider a ban to ‘protect the poor kiddies’ in the first place?
America tried prohibition once and we all know how that turned out…
And as we all know only to well here in the real world kids that want to experiment will do and it doesn’t matter how many laws you put in place they’ll always find a way to get their hands on whatever is flavour of the month….pun intended…
And remember Gottlieb is also considering bringing in legislation that will pretty much halve the amount of nicotine found in lit tobacco products.
This is another sign the USA sees nicotine as the big bad wolf but worse than that the consequences of reducing smokers nic hits will mean them smoking more!
I could say something snippy here about smokers forced to buy more tobacco is a win win for Government taxes and Big Tobacco’s profits…but I won’t…
Vape Advocacy Groups In America Need YOU!
I will say this though the various so called vapers advocacy groups in America namely those below need to get their acts together quick smart:
CASSA has made a preliminary move to do just that saying:
In the coming weeks, CASAA will be providing guidance to comment on the ANPRM regarding flavors and other opportunities to engage with the FDA.
Our initial advice to members is to share your personal story about vaping.
Specifically, comments should include which flavors you use to stay smoke-free and how many different flavors you use in a given day.
Those of you who wish to comment on the proposal or send in personal vape related anecdotal evidence should add them to the Federal Register and specifically the: Regulation of Flavors in Tobacco Products document.
Make sure you do and also take a moment to contact and lobby your local and national politicians too because trust me the loss of flavoured e-liquids in the US would be an absolute disaster for both vapers and the vaping industry globally.
You can read Scott Gottlieb’s statement HERE
Submit your comments on the flavour ban HERE Deadline is 19th June 2018.