Reject the FDA's Deeming of Vapor Products as Tobacco Products
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Soon Congress will be presented with regulations proposing to deem electronic cigarettes and other vapor products as tobacco products, bringing them within the regulatory control of the FDA under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.
We, the members of the vaping community, including users of vapor products, current and ex smokers, concerned citizens, and friends and family of those whose lives have been or could be changed by vapor products, urge you to reject the proposed deeming regulations.
The classification of vapor products as tobacco products is tenuous at best. While some vapor products do contain nicotine, many do not, and this is where the link to tobacco ends. The goal of the FSPTCA is to minimize the effects of tobacco on public health. In 1976 Professor Michael Russell wrote: “People smoke for nicotine but they die from the tar.”1 Vapor products are free of tobacco, contain no tar, and are not combusted and as such are orders of magnitude less potentially harmful than combustible tobacco.2 In fact, more recent studies that look at nicotine, absent tobacco smoke, show that nicotine is possibly not addictive and could have potential health benefits related to treating Parkinson’s symptoms and staving off Alzheimer’s.3
The Federal government and each state have spent hundreds of millions over decades attempting to discourage people from smoking cigarettes. We now have a viable alternative to tobacco products that could do just that, through tobacco harm reduction. This life changing technology has the potential to accomplish what Tobacco Control has failed to do for the past fifty years, unless it is smothered in its infancy. Vapor products, as a recreational consumer good, have the potential to replace combustible tobacco, keeping millions from potential tobacco related illnesses. According to recent CDC surveys, in the time frame that vapor products have been available, smoking rates in the United States have plummeted to an all time low.4 However, if vapor products are subjected to the same strict regulatory control intended to minimize harm from tobacco products, they could be rendered ineffectual due to the stifling nature of those regulations.5
By rejecting the classification of vapor products as tobacco products we can:
1 Protect access to flavors, which are an integral part of the vapor experience.6
2 Protect access to online sales that allow consumers to procure the equipment and e-liquids that are best suited for their needs.
3 Protect access to all nicotine concentrations, which allow the consumer to tailor their experience to their needs which could range from higher concentrations to aid in transitioning from smoking to nicotine free for enjoyment and maintenance.
4 Protect access to open, reusable container systems that are more cost effective and environmentally friendly.
5 Allow for the continued innovation and refinement of products currently on the market.
Vapor products are not tobacco products, they are a safer alternative to tobacco products which may or may not contain nicotine. Vapor products are also a driving force behind thousands of small and medium businesses across the country, creating jobs and feeding the economy, many of which will not survive the exorbitant fee structure of tobacco product approval that has kept the cigarette market in the hands of only the major tobacco companies. The vapor product industry has already gained ground in self regulation by the formation of industry trade groups, and through the active involvement of the consumers.7 Instead of relegating vapor products to tobacco control, a new category of product regulation can be implemented, one that could inspire innovation along with public health and safety. The best way to protect this life altering technology is to not place it under the auspices of the FSPTCA, by not deeming vapor products as tobacco products.
7 CASAA.org AEMSA.org SFATA.org
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