For the first time in history, this past Thursday, The FDA proposed the regulation of e-cigarettes.
This would give the FDA power to watch over the vaping world much like the manner in which they regulate cigarettes, cigarette tobacco and tobacco products. There is very little wrong with that as long as small companies can continue to do what they do.
“We will have the authority as a science-based regulatory agency to take critical actions to promote and protect the health of the public.” Margaret Hamburg stated as the commissioner of the FDA.
Some of the items that were subject for discussion:
- E-cigarette banning for minors
- Restriction of free samples
- Vending machine banning where minors are present
- Warning label describing the addictive quality of nicotine
- Ingredients need to be displayed
According to a new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, those who smoke who have asthma, experience an improvement in their asthma symptoms and lung function, even if they remain among those that smoke cigarettes and E-cigs. This is described as a dual user. So even if they smoke occasionally, and have the option to use an E-cig, there is evidence of lung improvements!
In a recent study which examined 18 smokers with significant asthma who switched to electronic cigarettes, ten of the patients switched completely and 8 became dual users. Among the dual users, the average cigarette consumption fell from 22.4 to 3.9 cigarettes per day.
Electronic cigarettes are not for everyone, and this study was not designed to examine the proportion of smokers who will be successful in quitting or cutting down substantially. It does, however show that those who suffer from asthma do benefit from the E-cig!
This study provides further evidence that vaping is a much safer alternative to smoking.
Has the Ban already taken effect?
Chicago has already banned E-cigs. Michigan lawmakers are looking into banning E-cigs in particular indoor areas. New York is looking into the ban as well as many other states.
Lawmakers are still debating this issue and continue to further thru this week. Under the new regulations, those allowed to purchase E-cigs must be over the age of 18 and in some counties and states people will need to be even older.
The FDA e cigarette regulations are subject to a 75 day period of waiting, and during this time, the public will have an opportunity to give feedback on the issue. The issue at hand has been drawn up to 241-pages of proposed regulations.
The FDA estimates that the New Tobacco Product Application, or the NTPA’s will require many,many hours of data collection and hundreds of thousands of dollars or more to complete the necessities for these proposed issue. Many of the small shops that sell the E-cigarette products cannot afford this and, a few current e-cigarette companies will not be able to survive this process. “The truly tragic aspect of these regulations is that the heavy hand of government is coming down on the neck of a product with huge potential to be a ground breaking technology in the long, bitter fight against cigarette smoking.”
What makes me laugh, is the fact that the E-cigs that were out on the market as of February 15th, 2007, automatically are approved! Some of the flavors of the E-cigs may have to go thru these NTPA regulations, as well as some of the batteries currently in use. “How did we come to this state, where the most benign, effective product for nicotine delivery became the prime target of over-zealous, destructive regulation? The urge to regulate first and evaluate the scientific data later must be resisted.” It seems rather ridiculous to me that these steps are taking place. Don’t we place most of our comfort in our decision making based on scientific data? So it only seems right that we would research first before assuming? I would hope so.
How do we reduce the deaths that occur from smoking? E-cigs are a great choice. At least they alleviate the direct desire and need for a traditional cigarette. So with all the proposed regulations doesn’t it only seem right that there is another option for those that need another choice? With the increased scientific information, one could say that it would be wise to not even use the E-cig, but even the recent findings are not completely proven. I believe that it would behoove those that smoke to have the chance to choose and E-cig, even if it is just for an interim between smoking traditionally and not smoking at all. Out of the 42 million smokers who are addicted, half of those who do manage to quit for a period of time, return to the habit. Why would we ban a product that assists in the manner of aiding those addicted? Is Big Tobacco to blame? Are they trying to maximize this market also? Is this why all the regulations are being put into place? Hmm, I wonder…
I do agree that new products out on the market need to be analyzed over time. For instance, take Laser Vision Operations. The Lasik operation is now one that after years of being watched and reviewed now appears to be a really good choice for those who need that assistance. Things take time, and it only appears right to give the E-cigarette its fair trial to prove itself. If these regulations come about, it will make it harder to purchase these products. I believe it is up to the consumer as long as they are of age, to make a choice that will support their own choices.
July 9th is the deadline for this issue. Over this period of time, it will be assessed and reviewed and hopefully democratically we will come to a conclusion that can support all parties. If enough people who vape, who previously vape and or smoke, or smoked express their opinions and voice their knowledge around this issue, maybe we will see what is really going on.