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The media loves stirring up controversy, and at times, it can be quite tricky discerning the truth. The same line of thinking can be said about our government, and whether or not our government has the people's best interest at heart.
From the fear mongering you hear in the news, to the parents freaking about their kids, to the lawsuit the FDA is facing, you can only imagine the pressure on our government’s shoulders. The fact that ‘Juuling’ has become a verb among our youth is ridiculous and incredibly concerning.
We know it’s hard to believe, but this time, we genuinely believe that the government is trying to do the right thing. The anti-vaping advocates are voicing their concerns about the youth vaping and the FDA also understands that vaping can be beneficial in helping smokers quit cigarettes.
The anti-vaping constituents are screaming loud and clear to the FDA TO DO SOMETHING, and it’s working.
The FDA has recently released an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to collect comments, data, research results, and other information from interested parties to understand better how they should proceed in regulating vape juice flavors.
Simply put, the FDA is seeking information to understand how flavor plays a role in vaping and what actions the FDA should take to regulate flavors.
The FDA will close the public discussion after June 19, 2018. This is a window of opportunity for the vaping community to be heard, and to make a difference.
What we are asking from you in the vaping community is to take action. Don’t let the media drown out your truth because your voice matters too.
Before you do, let’s go over what events have led to this moment and what you can do to protect your freedom to vape as you please.
The first thing you should know is that the FDA considers all e-cigarette products as a tobacco product. Under the Tobacco Control Act, the FDA has the authority to regulate all aspects of e-cigarette products and is formally classified as an Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS). Whether we agree or not is a discussion for a later time.
So, how did we end up here?
The argument presented to the FDA is summarized as the following:
Therefore, the risks outweigh the benefits if more minors continue to vape.
This argument poses a problem to the FDA since e-cigarette flavors are also beneficial to adults as a means to quit smoking. The FDA wants to know if the potential health benefits of vaping outweigh the risks?
According to a study done by the University of Michigan, the public health benefits from vaping outweighs the risks of youths moving from e-cigarettes to cigarettes.
Regardless of the information out there, the FDA is being open-minded in their approach and wants to hold a public comment to better understand how they can proceed in regulating vape flavors.
Let’s go over a quick summary of the ANPRM and why the FDA is proposing to regulate vape flavors.
You can read the full ANPRM document here. We have broken down each section into bite-sized bits.
In summary, the ANPRM makes a case to support why the FDA should regulate flavors. The role flavors play in vaping is an important one to both the youth and adults, and the FDA understands both sides of the story.
The FDA is ramping up its efforts to please constituents, and recently, the FDA working in concert with the FTC have issued 17 warnings to vaping companies practicing deceptive marketing.
From someone working in the industry, it’s hard to disagree with the FDA’s action taken on certain vaping companies. It is imperative for vaping companies to practice responsible marketing to avoid any misconception of companies marketing to children.
According to the ANPRM, the FDA has been proposing these regulatory actions:
With the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the FDA’s authority is far-reaching and all-encompassing. If the FDA wants to ban flavors entirely, the FDA can do so. However, the public comment open until June 19th is there for a reason so FDA can take account of all sides of the story.
Let’s go over how to submit an effective comment on the ANPRM. You can also read here for tips on submitting an effective comment.
The fact that the youth is getting hooked on nicotine is sad and unfortunate. In America, we never like to find the root cause of the issue, and instead, we like to find a scapegoat to fix our problems temporarily. When in fact, no responsible vaping company intentionally tries to target our children with flavors.
It’s saddening and extremely irresponsible for anti-vaping advocates to tout that vaping companies are marketing to children when flavors are one of the main reasons people can quit smoking cigarettes.
The vaping industry represents the freedom of choice, a choice to choose a different alternative, and a commitment to make nicotine products as safe as possible. Like many of us in the vaping community, we know how vaping has helped improve our quality of life, and this is our chance to make a difference.
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