Forbes says Dems’ FDA letter ‘perpetuates misconceptions’ about vaping

Forbes Magazine is one of the rare mainstream news media outlets that performs its own thorough investigative reporting regarding the controversial FDA vaping regulations.  The news organization regularly goes against the grain and calls out politicians and anti-tobacco groups for spreading misleading or false information.

In February 2017, Editor-in-Chief Steve Forbes called the FDA “anti-vaping Jihadists” and demanded that the organization “butt out” of future discussions involving possible government regulation of the American vaping industry.

In a more recent story, Forbes contributor Sally Satel accuses eleven Democratic senators of sending a letter to newly confirmed FDA Chief Dr. Scott Gottlieb that “perpetuates misconceptions” about the alleged dangers of vaping.  The article was co-authored by the famous Clive Bates, former Director General of Wales in the UK and a pro-vaping advocate.

Franken, Warren, and 9 other Democrats send anti-vaping letter to FDA’s Gottlieb

While the Forbes article falls short of accusing the eleven democrats of intentionally falsifying the facts, it does call them out for their lack of knowledge regarding the many health benefits of vaping.  The article also offers clarification to its readership on the many flaws contained in the letter, which was signed by such Democratic Rock Stars as Sen. Al Franken, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, just to name a few. 

In the opening paragraph of the Senators’ letter, they make the following statements.

“We have serious concerns regarding the recent decision by FDA to delay all upcoming compliance deadlines under the final tobacco deeming rule, reflected by the May 10, 2017 guidance entitled Three-Month Extension of Certain Tobacco Product Compliance Deadlines Related to the Final Deeming Rule.  We urge the Administration to stand up to special interests and reconsider its decision to delay all compliance deadlines set forth in the tobacco deeming rule; such delays will have dangerous consequences and hamper the ability of the FDA to carry out its mandate to protect the public’s health.”

The senators then go on to suggest that e-cigarette use is “strongly associated” with an increase in smoking rates in teens and young adults.  It’s the old “vaping as a gateway” argument that has been disproven countless times in numerous scientific studies.  The Forbes article then rebuff’s the senators’ claim by saying it “just isn’t true.”

“Yet (these eleven) senators claim that a pause for reconsideration will have ‘dangerous consequences’ for the teens ‘deliberately targeted’ by an industry that plies them with flavors such as ‘cookies and cream’ and ‘cotton candy.’  This sentiment mirrors familiar activist talking points in which a predatory industry uses child-like flavors to hook kids on vaping and ultimately to get them to smoke. It’s a compelling story, but it just isn’t true.”

The co-authors also discuss many of the numerous pro-vaping scientific studies already published on the topic of vaping as a gateway.  They list and discuss the University of Michigan Monitoring the Future survey, a 2015 survey published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, and several others. 

And finally, in the closing paragraph, Forbes attempts to school these eleven elected officials on how better to do their jobs.  “The lesson, as ever, is that bad facts drive bad policy.“   Well done, Forbes journalists.  Well done. 


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