Friday, May 6, 2016

New FDA E-cigarette Regulations Condemned by CASAA

PUBLIC STATEMENT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New FDA E-cigarette Regulations Condemned by CASAA


DES MOINES, IA (May 6, 2016) - The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) is condemning the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) tobacco deeming regulations that will effectively ban 99.9% of the vapor products currently on the market.


CASAA is justifiably outraged that the FDA has opted to squander a monumental opportunity to greatly improve the health and well-being of the public. Moreover, the FDA has demonstrated a clear lack of regard for the most recent scientific evidence and advice from public health professionals that support the promotion of vapor products to smokers as an effective means to reduce the harms of smoking. FDA has turned its back on millions of smokers and their families with the finalization of these regulations.


Yesterday’s action by the FDA imposes an insurmountable burden to apply for and meet impossible and largely irrelevant standards. Rather than work toward supporting innovation of less harmful products, FDA’s actions demonstrate a clear preference for the status-quo which keeps dangerous products in place while stifling their low-risk competitors. In no uncertain terms, the FDA regulations are an unmitigated disaster which will only increase suffering by prolonging the war on smoking.


The impact of smoking on public health has been of great concern for decades. Considerable effort, funded largely by taxpayers, has gone into combating the toll of smoking over the past 50 years. Despite these efforts, the level of death and disease attributed to smoking has remained relatively constant. The electronic cigarette, which is an effective and enjoyable substitute for many smokers, poses a small fraction of the health risk compared to combustible tobacco. The popularity of vaping represents an unprecedented opportunity to significantly reduce the harm caused by smoking.


The enactment or deferral of these regulations presented a stark choice for the U.S. government: Embrace the status quo by employing coercive and punitive tactics to achieve small incremental declines in cigarette smoking, or enact sensible, tailored regulations that support the development and innovation of life-saving products. In any other field, if a product were significantly less harmful than a previous model, the government, health officials, and the public would be singing its praises and demanding access -- not attempting to enact prohibitive regulations that would force it out of existence.

In blinding contrast, the FDA’s deeming regulation comes on the heels of two monumental reports released by Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians in the UK. Both organizations recognize the significant contribution that electronic cigarettes can make toward improving public health as an alternative to smoking that is at least 95% less harmful than combustible cigarettes. Conversely, the FDA is sending a clear but misleading message to 42 million smokers in the U.S. that abstinence is the only acceptable option. Such an irresponsible and reckless recommendation from an agency with a mandate to protect public health is an appalling breach of ethics and public trust.





The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) is a non-profit 501(c)(4) organization with an all-volunteer board and a grassroots membership of more than 140,000 active members from all walks of life. CASAA is dedicated to ensuring the availability of reduced harm alternatives to smoking and to providing smokers and the public with honest information about those products. CASAA will continue its efforts in advocating for more reasonable, ethical, and sensible regulations.

For more information please contact:


Alex Clark - CASAA Legislative Coordinator
aclark@casaa.org
202-241-9117


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