After nearly a month of chaos and contempt in the vaping industry over the May 5 announcement of the new FDA e-cig regulations, the White House recently deleted specific language that would have banned the sale of all flavored e-liquids in America. While this is the first positive sign of progress in the Fight for the Right to Vape Movement, vaping advocacy groups caution that there is still a long way to go.
To gain public support for the controversial regulations that involve a million-dollar approval process per product, the FDA’s marketing strategy has been to denounce vaping and e-cigs as a temptation for teenagers that will eventually lead to an increase is teen smoking. By the FDA’s reasoning, certain flavors of e-cigs like bubblegum or cotton candy should be banned as a method of helping America’s youth to avoid this alleged temptation. Just hours ago, the White House put the kibosh on this notion, at least for the time being.
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Since there is no scientific data to support these claims, many physicians and scientists around the world have been quick to support the vaping industry, calling the FDA e-cig regulations “illegal,” “unnecessary,” and “an overstepping of the FDA’s authority.” By the White House scrapping the proposed FDA ban on flavored e-juices, many in the vaping community are hopeful that this is a sign of better things to come.
The role of the White House in the FDA e-cig regulations
Many Americans do not know that that the FDA cannot implement any new regulations without the expressed approval of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). It was the OMB that officially deleted the FDA policy, but even more importantly, the OMB also deleted the supportive reasoning behind the proposed ban in the first place. In doing so, several anti-vaping organizations quickly took to the media to express their outrage
"The FDA made an overwhelming scientific case to OMB….for reasons that are not articulated, those people (the OMD) substituted their own judgment."
-Matthew Myers, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
"We are deeply troubled that these important safeguards were stripped in this way when FDA repeatedly demonstrated that the science shows flavored products appeal to youth and young adults."
-Harold Wimmer, American Lung Association
Anti-vaping advocates continue to quote “scientific” research that flavored e-liquids are leading teenagers to vape, but perhaps the White House is now beginning to question the validity of this research, which led to the elimination of the proposed ban on flavored e-liquids.
A spokesperson for the White house, Emily Cain, made a public statement that the OMD does not comment on the internal review process of the FDA. But clearly, something is causing the OMC to look into the legitimacy of the FDA e-cig regulations. With two years to go until they take effect, perhaps the further dismantling, regulation by regulation, is soon to come.
(Related Article: THE OMD AND THE FDA: WILL E-CIGS BE BANNED IN THE U.S.?)
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