• Michael Siegel

    Michael Siegel is a School of Public Health professor of community health sciences; he can be reached at mbsiegel@bu.edu. Profile

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There are 44 comments on POV: New FDA Regulations on Vaping Products a Failure

  1. Vaping got me off smoking 21 months ago and makes me immune to relapse. We will end the Tobacco Age if governments will shut up and butt out. Even vaping will die out eventually when there are no new smokers. Tobacco is a $1 trillion business world wide. Everybody who benefits from that money knows who they are and they favor the status quo. Follow the money.

    1. Perhaps in your fantasy world we will end the age of tobacco, but in the real world I live in that is simply not in the cards. Besides that, tobacco isn’t the problem, it’s inhaling smoke from burning tobacco that kills people.

      Many in the vaping world are sounding eerily like the anti tobacco/nicotine zealots they claim to be fighting. I do not see a whole lot of difference between what you are saying and what I am hearing from the tobacco control industry.

      1. The difference is no one in vaping is going to force you to give up either tobacco or nicotine, will not lobby for tighter regulations on either and does not get any money from government programs or institutions. What Charlie is talking about is a natural progression brought about by consumer choice. Smoke or vape as you wish, but we think that if vaping stops being demonised and becomes more accepted tobacco use will decline quite rapidly compared to 2010 and earlier. Since most vapers are ex smokers, then eventually (generationally) vaping will not be required either.ww Societies that do their best to eliminate vaping will be the only once left with the heavy burden of smoking related disease. (Looking at YOU Singapore…)

        1. Do you really see your scenario as realistic? I don’t, and for very good historical reasons.

          Wherever tobacco has been introduced it has become popular with a good percentage of the population using it. People are getting something out of it, so continue to use it. It has only been in the 20th century, when inhaling smoke became popular did tobacco become associated with serious health issues.

          For a far more realistic scenario, one that is actually happening in the real world, look to Sweden. Sweden has the lowest tobacco related disease rate in the world, yet their use of tobacco remains at least as high as elsewhere. The reason for this is people have simply switched to a low risk alternative in snus. They haven’t stopped using tobacco. Tobacco harm reduction is not about the end of tobacco use. Unfortunately many in the cloistered vaping world believe it is.

          It is not the end of tobacco use, but perhaps a greatly reduced cigarette smoking rate.

          1. I just want to clarify something: the FDA regulations have deemed e cigarettes and their components to be tobacco products. Our (vaping community) fight is about the fact that none of the products contain tobacco at all. The FDA says the nicotine makes them tobacco products. This is false. Nicotine is found in tomatoes and lily of the valley. Yet they are not considered to be tobacco products. The FDA has deemed that batteries and coils are tobacco products. The rechargeable batteries used are the same that are used in things like phones and game controllers. How are they tobacco? In addition, the deeming regulations that went in to effect on August 8th, prohibit shop owners from answering questions such as Does this battery need to be rewrapped or do I need a new one? If people want to keep smoking tobacco, that is fine. It is their choice, but deeming products with zero tobacco in them as tobacco has effectively taken the choice away and steered people back to cigarettes. And it is going to shut down an industry that has come up with a way to get people off of smoking and make their lives healthier. The Public Health of England, The World Health Organization, The CDC and the American Lung Association have all said that vaping is 95% safer than smoking, that there is no difference in air quality in a non smoking house and a vaping house and that it should be recommended as a viable option to quit smoking. But the FDA doesn’t get revenue from vape shops and e liquid manufacturers so they didn’t even read those studies.

          2. There is a serious flaw in parts of your statement. Sweden may have a lower instance of “smoking” related disease but using “smokeless” products does not eliminate the risk of cancers of the mouth. The risk is still there but not for respiratory related issues. Tobacco has been popular to smoke since the early 18th century, a large part of the income of the “New World” was based on farming tobacco for sale to Europe. The regulations by the FDA are so out of spec it is absurd. Using the same logic, soda and fruit juice needs to be classified as an alcoholic beverage due to being a popular ingredient in mixed drinks. Blenders should also be classified as alcohol because you simply cannot make a decent frozen margarita without one. The list could continue into absurdity but why waste time with nonsense.

    2. The plain and simple point is that vaping products are officially viewed by the FDA as tobacco products, however, no tobacco cigarette manufacturer is being made to jump through hoops like the vaping industry is. This makes it all too clear that vaping, which poses a threat to the wallets of tobacco cigarette manufacturers is being held purposely at bay so that tobacco cigarette sales may continue unhindered. Nicotine is not what causes the harm, it is tobacco and the FDA is helping to make sure that cancer causing tobacco is free to continue forward with no hindrance what so ever so that it can go forth and kill all of the Americans it wants while effectively stopping Americans from using a proven tobacco cessation tool that has been shown to save them.

    3. I haven’t touched a cigarette in almost 3 years thanks to vaping. I breathe better, I can swim and jog again like I used to pre-smoking. It’s is overall a better product and by personal experience, I swear by it as an alternative. As for why the rules are so ridiculous and non-sensible, it has been the fruit of my research that corporate Big Tobacco interests are to blame wholly and totally. The ‘free market’ is all very well and good…. that is, until you face an enormous amount of new competition that can threaten your executives’ lavish and expensive lifestyles and your (often) non-employee shareholders’ investments. Rather than play fairly and start their own competitive vape line along side traditional tobacco products, they would rather keep their more profitable tobacco product lines and kill their competition by leveraging the ‘big government” (you know, the very big government their corporate leadership wants cut down to size… hypocrisy, I say!). No matter who has the balls to say the government is too big, remember that corporate is bigger and this crap is living proof that money controls government abjectly and totally. Want this to go away? Then we need to target the Citizens United decision and get it overturned, then permanently silence big money in government, labeling lobbying as it currently is practiced as illegal bribery and corrupting influence. If they want to tout Free Market principals, yet hypocritically take a dump on them the moment they start to work against their favour, then this hypocrisy, too, can be used against them.

      Perhaps along side Big Pharma price regulation, a repeal to the FDA vape rules and a replacement with much more reasonable regulation can be introduced. However, the Tobacco companies need to be sued through the nose for their part in these stupid regulations. That’s where it needs to start. Punish the source of the problem, then fix the problem itself… you can’t remove a weed by cutting it. You have to pull it out by the roots.

    4. That law does not affect anything for me in the USA. I’m still buying new equipment online and it’s 5/2017 already. Vaping shops are booming here in California. If the FDA bans it people will build their own equipment to vape with and VG can never be banned. I don’t use PG or Nicotine in my vape or liquid anymore cause I make my own liquid even, build my own coils and build my own vaporizers. I know not everyone is an Electronics Wizard though so I consider myself lucky. If the FDA imposes a BAN it will open a lucrative black market. That all. Nothing to worry about. I’m off the cigarettes and will never spend another dime on those worthless cancer sticks. I figure 30+ years is enough. The vaping has helped me finally kick the nicotine habit once and for all. The FDA can suck it !

  2. I completely agree with the Author. In addition, many people who are addicted to nicotine have used these products to quit using tobacco which is a net health improvement. Although a perfect world where tobacco products don’t exist would be preferable, clearly anti tobacco efforts to this day have fallen far short of the goal. Like prohibition, achieving total elimination of tobacco from the world may be impossible to achieve. The market has provided a product that enables nicotine addicts to live without consuming carcinogenic tobacco improving the quality of their lives and medical outcomes. Tell your elected representatives to rein in the FDA’s sincere but counterproductive regulations.

  3. Ok fda and government needs to stop lining pockets cause tobacco is still killing more people each year than nearly everything but fda won’t put a band on they want time call for salty when the are just a bunch of mass murders if the don’t get rid of tobacco

  4. I really don’t understand WHY the FDA is protecting cigarettes like they are – at the expense of untold number of peoples lives. I hear things like state bonds, heavy debt to tobacco from way back – is that really the truth? If our country/states are THAT in debt to Tobacco, is it not time to lay out the cards on the table and find a solution that doesn’t involve KILLING PEOPLE? And if that is really the reason, isn’t it reasonable to expect the rest of our government to be “in” on this? It doesn’t seem like they are..,?

    1. You hit the nail square on the head Christine! Wake up please, this is a cure for one of the most deadly diseases ever, tobacco. The government needs to step in and regulate this product, not a tobacco product. Its very plain to see, that a few corrupt politicians are behind this.
      Vaping is the cure, do the right thing…

      1. Very good points Christina and Brad and the answer is $$$$ the tobacco giants have a product that causes untold diseases and death and the big pharmaceutical companies make products to fight the diseases, death and addiction and along with the politicians in their pockets do you really think it’s going to be a easy ride for the vaping industry and community? There is to much profit at stake the tobacco companies loose revenue as people break their addictions and the pharmaceutical companies loose money because people are quitting without their cecation drugs and then they become healthier and don’t need the drugs to fight the diseases brought on by smoking. The vaping community is fighting a battle against three foes the tobacco giants the pharmaceutical giants and the crooked politicians they have bought who influence the laws.

    2. Ironically, the dependence of FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products [FDA-CTP] on the tobacco industry is not so much a matter of historical indebtedness, but is rather more simple and direct. The entire FDA-CTP budget – 100% – is funded by “user fees” levied on the regulated industry. This amounts to a heavy tax on the manufacturers that comes in addition to the local, state and federal taxes on tobacco products. The major tobacco companies pay hundreds of millions of dollars in user fees to FDA-CTP annually. If a company’s sales volume decline, their user fees decline.

    3. Big Tobacco has big money. Corporate is bigger than government. The anti-government “libertarians’ are either trying to make us a corporatocracy on purpose or are stupidly pushing us in that direction not realising that corporate interests aren’t the victims, but are rather the problem itself. the FDA was content to not say much of a peep about vaping until Big Tobacco started to lose profits to vaping. It’s a proven fact that they are behind the support for these recent regulations and the content of these regulations. it stands to work int heir favour. I think the execs are mad because their tobacco products have regs and taxes and vaping bypasses most of them, giving vape companies a competitive advantage. The motive is understandable, but the end does not justify the means.

  5. I am an Irish citizen in Dublin, Republic of Ireland.
    As yet, we have not yet applied similarly ridiculous legislation which is coming very soon via the EU.
    Let me state very clearly the black and white truth of the situation.
    For these FDA regs to even be a thing, it makes it very clear, obviously clear that for a govt agency to impose such a legislation which benefits one industry and ruins another competing industry, totally disregarding the real science which proves the other industry is making massive health improvements, means that the decision makers are motivated to make that legislation. That motivation is money, so to be clear, your govt, these lawmakers, have something to gain from the incumbent industries (big tobacco, big pharma) being left alone and something to lose from the new industry succeeding. Corruption, guys, corruption. Why are you, as a people, not up in arms about this?
    Soon enough we in the eurozone will be facing the very same accusations of sheepishness in the face of stupid laws designed to benefit big industries who profit from our lives, sicknesses and deaths and the politicos who benefit from the status quo.

    1. Americans aren’t up in arms about anything anymore. As a people, we have become unable to fight.

      As for money being the legislature’s motivation, you are likely only partially correct. There are influences in this world that are greater than money. Power, control…

      Those of us who are not brainwashed are punished and ostracized.

      I sometimes wish I could be rescued from this country, but they revoked my right to a passport (though I’m not a felon).

      Please help.

    2. American vapers are up in arms. Sadly, we are not a government of the people, by the people and for the people anymore. We have the best government money can buy. This is only the latest example. Our Supreme Court voted to use eminent domain to allow a private party to obtain a parcel from another private party, using greater tax revenue as it’s justification. If you know anything about US Law and the Constitution, this is the antithesis of the eminent domain rule. It might be too late, but a great man Thomas Jefferson once said “a little rebellion now and then is a good thing.”

    3. You hit the nail on the head, Darah. I’m glad someone else recognises the source of the problem. Big money corrupts. Every civilised country on the plant needs to collectively storm their country’s capital and demand corporate interests be silenced in government proceedings and policy. Money is not to be passed to government in exchange for a voice. The only ones allowed a voice in government would be individual voting citizens… real, literal PEOPLE. Corporations as organisation should never, ever be treated as people nor given the same rights as people. Those who work for the corp should have those rights, but not the corp itself. End the corruption worldwide!

  6. @James Spears, there is nothing sincere about the FDA regs, nothing.
    Its not about health, its not about the children, its about money plain and simple.
    Vaping products don’t bring in the tax dollars, the political class who are in the pockets of big industry are terrified the gravy train ids derailing.

    1. I doubt the sincerity of the FDA however I have not seen any evidence that these regulations are maliciously motivated. Most of what I have read is that concerned third parties wrongly feel that these devices will snare kids and become the next form of tobacco which nobody wants. But I don’t believe that third parties should be empowered as surrogate decision makers for society. I believe that the evidence shows that surrogate third parties are incapable of making a decision for others better than each individuals could make for themselves. Certainly I’m not arguing individual cases but rather in the aggregate for society as a whole.

      So my argument against the regulations focused on the facts as opposed to speculating on unknowable motivation.

      1. Think about this. Those third parties, and even the FDA, are heavily subsidized by pharmaceutical company money. (pharma fees make up a majority of the FDA’s operating expenses) Until e-cigarettes hit the market, pharma pretty much had the monopoly on nicotine sans tobacco, a multi-billion dollar industry despite the dismal 7% success rate. Once e-cigarettes became more popular, NRT sales slumped.

        To add to the above picture, the FDA Commissioner that originated the war on e-cigarettes is currently under RICO charges for protecting Johnson & Johnson profits. Johnson & Johnson owns at least some part, if not the entirety, of every brand name nicotine replacement therapy on the market. They are also the face behind the curtain of both the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation and Tobacco-Free Kids.

      2. When did it become my job to give up my rights so I can raise somebody else’s kids? More importantly, when did it become acceptable for parents to no longer actually parent? Go hard after those who are illegally selling to minors, not the legal users. This is about money, plain and simple. Our “elected” mafia isn’t getting their cut and they are upset.

        1. It isn’t even government. The real mafia are the corporations using government as a front. The government would actually work as designed if money weren’t allowed in government… if corporations lost their political voice. government is easily the one with the biggest target on it because it’s all we see. Just like the real Mob, you only see their front companies and their protection rackets. You rarely, if ever, see the gangsters running things behind the scenes. Take out the gangsters, though, and the corruption falls apart at the seams.

    2. Sadly the same is probably true for much of the vape industry. I am an avid vaper and have been for nearly 3 years and I am under no romantic illusion as to why companies who sell vape products want the FDA regulations to be reversed, it is also very much about money, very few are likely to be as concerned for our health as they are for staying in business and being part of a young and booming industry. Most of the foundations set up to take donations from vapers to supposedly pay legal costs in the battle to save vaping were set up by major vaping companies, I wonder where all that money is really going?

  7. The FDA has a revolving door with pharmaceutical industry. Pharmaceutical executives go to work for the FDA, making regulatory decisions on matters affecting their industry and sometimes even their own former companies. When their time at the FDA is over, they go back to higher-paying jobs in the industry. Big Pharma is losing or will lose big profits because vaping works better than their nicotine replacement products like gum and patches and also drugs like Chantix. There is not a modicum of sincerity in FDA regulation or any regulation as long money is involved in the process. The process has become a way for government to pick winners and losers, and offers a way for companies with big money to to shut down competition by out lobbying smaller companies or by regulating them in such a way that they can’t compete or comply.It makes me wonder how much innovation has been kept from seeing the light of day. There is an overall idea that seems to be lacking today and that is liberty. As an individual human I should be able to do as I please as long as I directly harm no other individual or violate another individual’s right to the same.People today are so quick to allow the government more power.

  8. I started vaping in Sept of 2014 and i have not smoked a single cigarette since and don’t want one. I winged myself of cigarettes from the vaping and I am only using flavor now no nicotine at all. So vaping it may be bad for you because you don’t know what is in the juice but it has made me stop smoking and I tried everything to help me stop and vapor e-cigarettes did it and I am going to stop doing that because all it is now is just a habit having to have something in my hand. Tobacco industry is just loosing sales and they are money hungry and that is why they are trying to cause problems.

  9. Very comprehensive article that addresses many if not all the issues at hand. I vape and have had real health improvements. States that are losing MSA money that they have already borrowed against should not kill vaping just to keep cigarette sales going strong. States that are losing MSA money due to people who switch to vapor should NOT look to the vaping public to doot their bad decision borrowing. Doing so would deter people from the safer alternative. And finally, the FDA needs to regulate vapor products in a logical framework to protect the public, not treat it like a tobacco product. It’ vapor not smoke!

  10. Money and over population. Cancer is the 2nd highest cause of death. Converting smokers to vaping will cause even more over population. Loss of resources and more pollution. Government has to silently kill you off some how!

    1. Jay..you aren’t the first person to say that. A tobacco farmer on the cdc website said pretty much the same thing. Its about population control. This is why they arent so heavy handed on tobacco companies..think about it.

  11. Vaping is no more a public health issue than theatrical fog and coffee. E-cigarettes and similar devices emit a form of theatrical fog consisting mostly of propylene glycol and glycerine with up to 3.6% nicotine by weight added to some types. The long term effects of exposure to glycol and glycerine vapours have been studied since at least the 1940s and the compounds are considered mostly harmless. Nicotne has been studied for well over a century and has been shown to be about as harmful as caffeine.

    Comparing the real hazards of vaping to the largely imaginary dangers of smoking, however, is completely absurd. When the ’64 Surgeon General’s report came out about two out of three adults in North America smoked some form of tobacco. Today it is more like two in thirty adults that smoke but there has been no corresponding decline in any “smoking related disease”. That fact alone proves most tobacco hazards have been imagined. It is time to cut “pubic health” budgets and let all of the imaginers go find jobs in the real world.

  12. Let me pose this question…given a choice would u rather drive a car that you know will kill you or one thats 95 percent safer. And what would you do if the government wanted to regulate you owning the safer model?

  13. I knew sooner or later the government would figure out a way to get the vaping industry in their clutches. Somehow they’ve figured out a way to make a boat load of money from it or they probably wouldn’t have bothered at all. I haven’t touched a tobacco cigarette in two years, not since I started vaping. I no longer wake up coughing a bunch of crud out of my chest, don’t have smokers cough anymore, and can breathe so much better than I could two years ago. Vaping has been a Godsend for me, so by all means, FDA – please step in and ruin that for me and all the other people who have benefited tremendously by switching from tobacco to e-cigarettes!

  14. I wonder if Donald Trump would scrap these new “regulations” once elected President this November… If the vaping community stands together and backlashes the FDA for these awful so called “regulations”

  15. Since when has the FDA ever protected the public? I know thousands of women (including myself) who suffer from the effects of a birth control implant called Essure that the FDA said was perfectly safe but now puts a black box label on it and still allows medical professionals to use it. So it doesn’t surprise me about anything they do anymore. They are not to protect our best interest but just to get money from Pharm Companies and if they allowed for a safer world then people wouldn’t need all the drugs to get healthy and so the Pharm companies and the FDA would then collapse.

  16. “I can think of no other consumer product manufacturer that is prohibited by federal regulators from introducing critical safety improvements to its products. This demonstrates just how nonsensical these regulations are.”

    Excellent! Really highlights how ridiculous these regulations are and I’m glad someone see’s it outside of vaping.

  17. I don’t understand why big pharma and big tobacco have such a big problem with Vaping. I know that everyone thinks it has to do with $$$. But that can’t be true. A few big tobacco companies (such as R.J. Reynolds) have created e-cigarettes.

    To keep relevant, as cigarettes become more and more irrelevant over time, why don’t they just follow the market? I am sure that extracting pure nicotine from tobacco is much cheaper and easier that it would be to get it from other sources … especially since they already are growing so much of it.

    I have no problem with SOME regulation of e-cigarettes. But much of this is just ridicules. I don’t mind them listing the ingredients, the requiring proof of age before purchase … etc. But having to file an application that has a high fee to change 1 item … to change a battery or the type of cotton in a coil is flat out stupid. The FDA needs to make this about public safety and health … not stopping an industry that they don’t get paid to regulate.

    1. The money issue comes from the cost of opportunity. For a tobacco company to start producing e-cigarettes, they have to give up manufacturing space that would have gone to creating traditional cigarettes. They make a much higher profit off cigarettes than they would off e-cigs, so the cost of opportunity overwhelms the potential profits. If we had had a few more years without these insane regulations, we might have gotten to the point where potential profits out weighed the opportunity costs, but these new regulations pretty much ensure that will never happen.

  18. The FDA went way past what was needed and has effectively shut down the growth of the vaping industry. I think the core reason this happened was that the FDA isn’t paid to regulate this industry, so they decided to put as many regulations as they could possibly think of into place so they wouldn’t have to come back and do more work for free later. Just like everything else, the FDA needs money to survive, so it makes sense that they would try to get this out of the way in one fell swoop if they aren’t getting paid to regulate it, but there is also a fine line between protecting public safety and protecting their pockets and they went well past that line.

  19. I am floored that this is happening. I quit smoking almost 4 years ago and only did so by vaping. I can breathe again, I do not get sick as often, my skin is clear, my sense of sMell has returned and my overall health is just soooo much better. And to hear that all vaping suppliers are being forced to close is like telling me I cannot make my own choices. That smoking will be my only option. Why doesn’t the FDA just hand out cancer vaccines and the lethal injection because they are basically giving everyone… a death sentence when taking away healthier alternatives to smoking. It is all about money, money, money. Vaping is the tobacco industries competition so instead of making room for competitors they will just eliminate them. Take away vaping but legalize pot. WTF??? Not to mention, my state has already imposed a 40% tax on all vaping products. A 35 dollar purchase ended up costing me 51 due to state tax. That is absolute insanity and greed.

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