When President Donald Trump officially took office last January, many in the vaping community were hopefully optimistic. On the campaign trail, Trump would often claim that the Obama Administration was overly aggressive in implementing crippling government regulations in industries ranging from coal to the environment and everything in between. Surely, vapers thought, a repeal of the FDA deeming regulations would be right around the corner.
It’s now 332 days into his presidency, and vapers are still waiting. Yes, The Donald has been busy revoking a whole pile of federal regulations, but none of them seem to benefit the vaping community just yet. Last Thursday, he even held a press conference standing next to an enormous pile of papers meant to signify the massive quantities of bureaucratic “red tape” that he was able to eliminate.
So, why don’t the FDA deeming regulations appear in this pile? According to the National Review, the chances that they ever will are slim to none.
Vapers should beware of a political bait-and-switch
When Trump appointed Scott Gottlieb to take over the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the vaping community once again viewed this as another positive sign of future deregulation yet to come. After all, Gottlieb has a pre-established connection to the vaping community, perhaps most specifically as a former business colleague of Peter Theil of NJOY fame.
By mid-summer, Gottlieb had offered vape shops and retailers some temporary relief in the form of a nearly 5-year extension for the Pre-Market Tobacco Application process, a very costly and time-consuming prerequisite for ultimate compliance with the FDA deeming regulations. However, the National Review questions whether the American vaping industry may be falling for a type of political bait-and-switch.
“While this delay is meaningful and beneficial, it simply isn’t enough. It didn’t take long for Gottlieb’s FDA and its Center for Tobacco Products to announce they would begin a campaign to educate kids about the dangers of e-cigarettes, and the FDA continues to perpetuate deadly misperceptions about the health risks associated with non-combustible tobacco products such as traditional American smokeless products (like Copenhagen and Grizzly) and Swedish ‘snus’ products.”
What is truly striking about the article is that the journalist, Brian Fojtik, seems to really know his stuff. Besides highlighting the many accomplishments of the British and Swedes in the field of vaping research, he also credits papers written by pro-vaping authors like Konstantinos Farsalinos, Riccardo Polosa, Joel Nitzkin, and Christopher Russell.
Even with the massive amounts of scientific data which make abundantly clear that vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking, the former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy had the audacity to publicly claim on multiple occasions that vaping among teenagers is reaching “epidemic” proportions (CDC data proves the opposite). Meanwhile, the new federal regulation requiring warning labels on vaping products seems to be mischievously implying to the public-at-large that vaping is just as deadly as smoking.
“Don’t hold your breath waiting for the FDA, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. surgeon general, politicians, or well-funded anti-smoking groups to start promoting these truths. They’ve had a similar opportunity for decades — to tell the truth about smokeless tobacco — but have refused to take it because it doesn’t fit their prohibitionist agenda.”
In other words, the deceptive marketing practices of the United States government regarding vaping products are deviously designed to keep smokers “smoking and dying.” According to the government’s own research compiled and published by the FDA Center for Tobacco Products and the Tobacco Control Research Branch of the National Cancer Institute, less than 12 percent of the general population is even aware that vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking.
On the contrary, the majority of Americans firmly and mistakenly believe that vaping is just as hazardous as smoking. And for this outrageously widespread public misconception, there may be no one else to blame other than the federal government itself, Trump, Obama, or otherwise.