FDA electronic cigarette proposals exposed

FDA electronic cigarette proposals exposed

December 8, 2015

Two respected US health experts have asked why it should be that the most toxic consumer products on the market – combustible cigarettes – have to do absolutely nothing to stay on the market, while a burdensome and prohibitively expensive applications system is being proposed for much safer, tobacco-free electronic cigarettes.

In a blog published in The Hill, Michael Siegel, a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, and Scott Ballin, a health policy consultant and former vice president and legislative counsel for the American Heart Association, point out that when the US Tobacco Control Act was enacted in 2009, it established a predicate date of February 15, 2007, for products subject to the Act: namely, cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. ‘While any new brands introduced to the market would have to file complex and burdensome applications with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for pre-approval, all existing cigarette brands – which includes every cigarette currently on the market – were given a free ride,’ they say. ‘This means that every cigarette brand on the market is allowed to continue being sold, without any changes in nicotine content, without eliminating menthol – which is known to appeal to youth – and without lowering the levels of any of the more than 60 known carcinogens in these products.

‘Therefore, it may come as a surprise to many to find out that despite the lack of any safety regulations for deadly cigarettes, the FDA has sent for executive branch approval a set of regulations for electronic cigarettes – devices that contain no tobacco, involve no combustion, and have been shown to be orders of magnitude safer than cigarettes – that require every electronic cigarette product to submit burdensome, expensive, and technically near-impossible applications just to stay on the market.

‘The FDA has apparently decided that electronic cigarettes pose a much greater threat to the health of the public than the extremely toxic tobacco cigarettes that are killing more than 400,000 Americans each year.’

The full blog is at: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/healthcare/261323-smokers-deserve-lower-risk-alternatives-to-the-deadly.

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