Mitch Zeller and Jack Henningfield: The Big Pharma conspiracy behind the FDA e-cig regulations

Contrary to popular opinion, electronic cigarettes are not a new invention.  They have been around for decades, and Big Pharma was one of the very first industries to review e-cigs and vaping devices for their possible efficiencies and benefits regarding the ingestion of prescription medications.

Back in the 1990’s, drug companies like Pfizer and Bristol-Meyers Squibb discovered that e-cigs are not only cheap, but they also help the patient feel the effects of the drugs almost instantly. So why would Big Pharma be siding with the CDC over the newly announced FDA e-cig regulations?

The simple truth is that e-cigs are in direct competition with the current smoking cessation methods, namely Nicorette gum, manufactured by the pharmaceutical conglomerate GlaxoSmithKline, and “The Patch,” a Johnson & Johnson product.

Obamacare, Big Pharma, and the FDA e-cig regulations

It’s no big secret that prescription drug prices are consistently skyrocketing, even with the recently enacted Obamacare insurance program.  In fact, Obamacare would have never have become a reality if the pharmaceutical companies had not cut a deal with Democrats at the very last minute.  The original version of the bill included specific language that would have placed harsh government restrictions on prescription drug prices.   But this language was deleted in late 2009 to appease Big Pharma and get Obamacare passed at a time in history when its future looked particularly bleak.


Coincidentally, it was also in late 2009 that Obama signed into law the Tobacco Control Act.  It is this single piece of legislation that is the basis for the newly released FDA e-cig regulations.  Furthermore, Obama named a relatively unknown GlaxoSmithKline consultant to be placed in charge of a new branch of the FDA called the Center for Tobacco Products that would oversee the implementation of the Tobacco Control Act.  What was the consultant’s name? Mitch Zeller.

Mitch Zeller and Jack Henningfield

That’s right.  The head honcho who is driving all of this anti-vaping rhetoric behind the new FDA e-cig regulations is a former political lobbyist of Big Pharma.  Mitch Zeller is the person chiefly responsible for the FDA’s labeling of electronic cigarettes as “tobacco products,” even though e-cigs and vaping devices are 100% tobacco-free.  Zeller is also the person behind the FDA’s deceptive marketing strategy that has managed to convince millions of Americans that the largest, 20-year decline in teen smoking is somehow a bad thing. 


Then there is the even lessor known Jack Henningfield.  When the Tobacco Control Act of 2009 became law, Obama created yet another organization, the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, to review the safety of all oral tobacco products.  Henningfield was, and still is, one of the very first members selected for the new committee.  Incidentally, he also happens to co-own a patent on a new nicotine-enhanced chewing gum that will soon be on the market.  The other co-owner is John Pinney, founder of the Big Pharma consulting firm that previously employed Mitch Zeller before he was appointed to the FDA.

Is there a secret conspiracy to eradicate the entire vaping industry simply for the personal financial gain of a few Big Pharma Top Dogs?  By connecting the dots and following the chain of events that has led to the newly announced FDA e-cig regulations, it may not be a "secret" conspiracy for much longer. 


  • Not surprised…all crooked and and each other’s pockets. When are you people going to do the right thing? Like save lives? Not put everyone in the poor house? All wrong!

    Eileen Tolve
  • It’s obvious that the people in charge of pharmaceutical products such as nicotine gum are not in the business because they care about the welfare of the patient, but instead they are looking at there pocket book. As a nurse, former smoker, and e-cigarette user it disgusts me to think that the government can tell me what to do with my body. I know how much better I feel since I stopped smoking and maybe if you big pharm guys were ever smokers you could appreciate what e-cigarettes have done for millions of Americans. Care more for the people and not yourselfs!!!!!!!

    Jessica Jordan
  • By destroying vaping, big Pharma keeps it’s profits rolling in through nicotine replacement sales. But it doesn’t stop there. NRT doesn’t work very well, so many smokers continue to smoke, who would otherwise have managed to quit with vaping. The really big bucks are in treating (not curing) smoking related diseases., various cancer treatments, COPD, cardio vascular & so on. There’s a symbiosis between the tobacco companies & the pharma industry. One profits from making you very sick, the other profits from treating your illness, win win.

    Bob Pearson
  • Great piece. Don’t forget also that there’s an even bigger threat; ecigs would destroy the even larger smoking related diseases market that pharma gets to treat.

  • Good to see this being said. The MHRA in the UK (FDA Equivalent) was actually set up with a bias in favour of the pharmaceutical industry. It is not just the leaders of these organisations who are pharma controlled. http://brainyfurball.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/margaret-chan-of-world-health.html

    robert innes

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