The Big Five E-Cig Companies Meet With Gottleib To Combat The Perceived Vaping Youth ‘Epidemic
American vapers and the wider vaping industry have an anxious couple of weeks wait to see what measures the FDA are going to take to stem the some might call fictitious ‘epidemic’ of youngsters using e-cigarettes over the pond.
There were no treats – that I could see though maybe just maybe a slight softening in tone – and let’s hope no tricks hidden between the lines of the large statement FDA commissioner Scott Gottleib released on Halloween.
However what was disconcerting was the so called Big 5 e-cigarette companies he’d met with 4 were from Big Tobacco – leaving just JUUL to represent independent e-cig industry. And once again the lines were blurred with Gottleib referring to the pod kits as ‘tobacco products’.
As I’ve been banging on about for years even if the devices are manufactured by Big Tobacco backed companies there really and I mean really needs to be clear blue water put between e-cigarettes and pod kits and lit and none combustible tobacco and that includes HNB.
The meetings came after a barrage of bad publicity – OK fake over hyped sensationalized crap centering around the incredibly popular pod kit JUUL. That particular brand has literally been swamped with calls for its head from both the ridiculous mainstream media and of course ignorant politicians and anti tobacco/nicotine/vaping/fun fanatics. And as I’ve reported before only recently the FDA raided the head offices of the company removing documents – crazy!
OK so Gottlieb had warned the vaping industry in America that it could face a complete shutdown if it didn’t come up with a real plan to curb underage sales. This despite a recent survey showing that most sales to minors were found in convenience stores rather than vape shops! But hey don’t let the facts get in the way – though to be fair he has stated he’s considering a ban of vape gear in none specialist shops.
The FDA Meets The So Called Big 5 E-cig Companies
Over the last few weeks he’s met with: Altria Group Inc. [MarkTEN and Green Smoke] – JUUL Labs Inc. [JUUL pods] – Reynolds American Inc. [VUSE] – Fontem Ventures [BLU] and Japan Tobacco International USA Inc [Logic].
Incidentally Altria – the parent company of Phillip Morris Inc and therefore IQOS – has already stated it will be discontinuing its flavoured pods in the MarkTEN brand – read into that as you will – lip service or ain’t they selling maybe…tsk tsk me getting snippy lol.
Of the meetings Gottleib said:
These have been constructive meetings. The companies acknowledged the serious public health consequences associated with youth use of tobacco products.
They presented thoughtful proposals, consisting not only of what steps they would take themselves to restrict youth access to and appeal of these products, but also steps that they think the FDA and other policy-makers can take to reverse the trends in youth use of e-cigarettes.
Some stated explicitly that preventing youth use must be a priority, and that any potential benefits of e-cigarettes for adult smokers cannot justify significant increases in youth use and addiction.
I have to say it’s more than a bit rich that 4 of the biggest manufacturers of lit tobacco products – now tip-toeing – sorry I meant bulldozing – into the e-cigarette market – are so contrite on what needs to be done to stop the youth of America turning to vaping.
Especially when you look at the astronomical rise in children smoking in say Asian countries where all the Big Tobacco companies are plying their cancer giving trade…
Something I’ve mentioned many times – when the poacher turns gamekeeper things are not always what they seem and once again we need clear blue water between tobacco products and vaping!!!!!
Are Complete E-Liquid Flavour Bans Coming To America?
On the sticky issue of e-liquid flavours it seems the Big Tobacco companies in particular were eager to please…I mean after all if all flavours except menthol and tobacco are banned then who stands to gain? Not the hugely successful e-liquid industry for sure – it will be the tobacco companies who can’t mix for shit left to sell their mostly foul tasting tobacco and menthol brands of juice!
The writing was on the wall as soon as they began muscling into the vaping industry – an attempt to destroy it from within leaving the richer – powerful corporations left holding the prize….dangerous times…
And yes I have come to the point where I’m easy on letting Big Tobacco pour their unlimited cash piles into research and development and harm reduction – however NOT at the expense of the independent vape hardware and e-liquid companies…because these are the first steps to huge rich corporations smashing the competitors in my humble opinion…
Gottleib gave an almost imperceptible nod to the importance flavoured e-liquids have had helping millions of smokers quit via vaping adding:
The companies acknowledged the role that flavored e-cigarette products play in appealing to kids, as well as the role that flavored e-cigarettes can also play in helping adult smokers quit.
On this point, their proposals at the meetings reflected a range of ideas: for instance, that the FDA restrict distribution of certain flavored products to channels with enhanced age verification processes.
Or that the agency require certain products that are more appealing to kids to come off the market until these products receive pre-market authorization from the agency.
These have been useful dialogues. We welcome the feedback and proposals to address the youth epidemic, which will help inform the FDA’s consideration of policy approaches.
Useful I guess but all very one sided if you ask me…where’s the meetings with the advocacy groups or the actual vaping industry including the very much under threat e-liquid manufactures?
The Door Is Open For Dialogue So Get Involved!
Gottleib admits finding the right balance is going to be tricky and does hold out a tiny slither of hope saying:
As we consider new and updated policies to our initial comprehensive plan for tobacco and nicotine regulation and address the rising rates of youth e-cigarette use, we’ll also stay true to the public health goals that animated the approach that we announced in July 2017.
We still believe that new innovations that don’t use combustion, such as many e-cigarettes, may offer an important opportunity for adults to transition off combustible tobacco.
We still believe that non-combustible forms of nicotine delivery may be less harmful alternatives for currently addicted adult smokers who still seek nicotine, without the risks associated with combustible cigarettes. And we want to keep this option for adults open.
Let’s hope common sense prevails – though this is politics so I won’t hold my breath.
And like I said in the title – is this just smoke and mirrors? I certainly hope it isn’t…but after all – time and time again whenever and wherever Big Tobacco is involved…nothing is quite as it seems…
You can read the full FDA statement HERE.