Trump promises ‘FDA reform;’ Big Pharma & vaping industries take notice

Trump promises ‘FDA reform;’ Big Pharma & vaping industries take notice

After the initial shock over the news that Donald Trump won the 2016 election, much of the global stock markets almost immediately re-stabilized within 48 hours or less.  However, the Big Pharma and Biotech Industries may have an even bigger cause for celebration, which could trickle down to the vaping industry, if everyone plays their cards right.

In the latest update to the healthcare section of the President-Elect’s website, Trump claims that his administration will not only repeal and replace Obamacare, but they will also modernize Medicare and “reform the Food and Drug Administration, to put greater focus on the need of patients for new and innovative medical products.”  For the vaping industry, nothing could be more “innovative” than electronic cigarettes and vaping technology to end the global addiction to smoking tobacco.  Is there a window of opportunity opening?

What does Trump mean by ‘FDA reform?’

While the healthcare update is somewhat vague and short on detail, many on Wall Street are reading this statement of FDA reform as a forewarning that Big Pharma and Biotech stocks may witness a substantial boom in the coming months.  Even on the campaign trail, Trump and the Republican Party have been notoriously outspoken about their desire to deregulate all areas of commerce related to Obamacare, including pharmaceutical companies, drug pricing, healthcare insurance companies, and especially the FDA itself.


However, with no specific mentioning of e-cigs or vaping in the new Trump update, the vaping industry should remain hopeful but cautious.  The Trump Administration’s current focus of FDA reform seems to primarily target the need to speed up the FDA’s approval process for getting more meds on the market. Meanwhile, the Republican Party is not well-known for wanting to regulate or reform the pricing of prescription drugs.   In short, they historically like the idea of Big Pharma getting more drugs on the market at a faster rate but have no real desire to control or limit the prices.

Why this could be good for the vaping industry?

Big Pharma is one of the most powerful adversaries of the vaping industry.  Once e-cigarettes became wildly popular over the past decade, the revenues from traditional nicotine replacement therapies like nicotine gum, lozenges, and “the patch” began to decline.  Those alternatives are manufactured and distributed by Big Pharma companies like GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson.


Big Pharma wanted to eliminate the competition – the vaping industry – but there is one thing they wanted even more.  They wanted to avoid drug price regulation by the Democrats related to the then-impending passage of Obamacare and the Affordable Healthcare Act.  As a result, Big Pharma was spending billions of dollars fighting Obamacare without much regard to the vaping industry.  That is, until Obama cut them a deal.

Obama said that Big Pharma would only have to reduce their prices a little, but in exchange, they could place one of their Head Honchos in charge of the new branch of the FDA called the Center for Tobacco Products. Big Pharma chose Mitch Zeller from GlaxoSmithKline, and the Obama Administration gave him full reign over the new agency.  And Mitch Zeller is the man most responsible for creating the new FDA deeming regulations that threaten to wipe out the entire vaping industry by 2018.

Trump hates smokers, and Trump loves making deals.

If Trump repeals and replaces Obamacare with something more Big-Pharma-friendly, perhaps he can also convince companies like GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson to lay off the vaping industry as a quid-pro-quo.  Trump hates smokers, and Trump loves making deals.  Even better, Trump seemingly hates Obama, and the FDA deeming regulations were Obama's baby.

If the vaping industry can rally and organize in time to take advantage of this tremendous window of opportunity to educate the Trump Administration on the numerous public health benefits of vaping and e-cigs, then the sky is the limit.  But the time to strike is now.  The window of opportunity is closing fast.

The Healthcare update can be located on the website.  


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's and do not necessarily represent the viewpoints, policy or company position of, the rest of our staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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Terah - August 19, 2018

I have been smoking for a while and started caping recently I can finally get up and I feel much better now than I did while I was smoking cigarettes. Not only that it’s easier for me to vape without tar being all over the walls in my house, I have more energy too. Why whould they try to get rid of it

Tom - February 14, 2017

We are missing the big picture! This regulation will put thousands out of work.
This is supposedly the industry friendly president all about creating jobs.
Unemployment rate will rise and he will take a hit. Your public officials need to be elected they don’t want the unemployment
Hit either start letting them know. No vape no job!!!

Christine Kmar - January 15, 2017

I smoked over 30 years and wasn’t able to quit smoking after years of trying I found vaping and I know it saved my life! I hope and Pray Trump will battle the FDA so I don’t go back to smoking!! :)

Kelli Anderson - November 18, 2016

I was a pack a day smoker for 15 years. I quit smoking when I found vaping. I believe that vaping has truly saved my life!

Peter Herbert - November 15, 2016

I feel it will be too late to save small businesses in the Vape Industry. Taxation will be heavy. Trump is about money and over seas connections

Brian - November 15, 2016

Amanda, apparently you aren’t aware of the advantages of vaping. Please don’t take that sentence as an attack, that’s not how it’s intended. There are several stories like mine that prove vaping is a far better choice over smoking. I started seeing a doctor about 4 or 5 years ago. My pulse at rat was over 200bpm. My blood pressure was 210/176. He wanted to put me on medication to bring all those numbers down. His fear was that I was heading for a great attack or stroke. After my first appointment, I started vaping. My next appointment, my pulse was 87bpm. My blood pressure has dropped as well to 100/90 (or about that). He wasn’t for vaping either, but I told him that’s all I’ve done differently. The Royal College of Physicians in the UK (the same people in the ’60’s that warned smoking was bad) announced that vaping is 90% better than smoking. Not to mention that it doesn’t make the person using the device stink like cigarettes. Another advantage to vaping us that second hand vapor is only slightly worse for someone than breathing outside air. What little carcinogens there are in vapor and ALL the nicotine (if there’s any present in the liquid) stays with the person who is actually vaping. You would get more carcinogens from the tail pipe of a passing car

Amanda - November 14, 2016

What is it with our government wanting to make it easier for big pharma to push their over priced prescription poisons through the FDA? If anything they should be launching an investigation into the extremely shady relationship between the FDA and big pharma. FDA approval used to mean that a product was relatively safe, now it just means they got PAID enough to overlook all the evidence to the contrary. I don’t think less regulation of big pharma is going to be good for the vaping industry, I think it’s going to be the opposite. Less regulation is going to give them more power to do as they choose, regardless of the cost to public health. I think they will just use this power to crush the vaping industry and laugh in our faces as they do it.

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