As the witch hunt on vaping continues, the latest news is that multiple medical organizations have filed suit against the FDA. Tobacco-Free Kids, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Truth Initiative, American Academy of Pediatrics, Democracy Forward are now alleging that delays in the regulation of electronic cigarettes and cigars will unnecessarily expose children and teens to flavored, and other kid-friendly tobacco products, for years to come.
Several individual pediatricians are also piling onto the lawsuit, suing the FDA.
The lawsuit contends that the years-long product review deadline delays (until 2022) for e-cigarettes, cigars, and other newly regulated tobacco products exceed the FDA's authority under the 2009 law that extended the agency's regulatory authority to tobacco.
Other plaintiffs are the American Academy of Pediatrics and its Maryland chapter, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the Truth Initiative, and the American Heart Association, along with five individual pediatricians.
The legal action also asserts that the FDA delay is illegal because the public had no opportunity to comment on the change. E-cigarettes have grown into a $4-billion dollar industry in the U.S.
These groups and the included list of medical organizations have said that while supporting the FDA's effort to regulate nicotine, the exemption of e-cigarettes from this years review is a danger to public health. While many vape stores pop-up across the country the popularity is bringing the awareness to these groups and causing a metaphorical riot.
Insinuating that thee products are a danger to children's health is one thing. However, to act as if vape companies aren’t making an effort to keep them out of children's hands is another. Regulations such as the one implied in the lawsuit can be considered a step too far. Even look towards our website, which now features an 18+ barrier for verifying age.
Back in August 2016, the FDA implemented a new rule which would extend its jurisdiction to e-cigarettes, cigars and other previously unregulated tobacco products. Fast forward to August 2017, when the FDA delayed a key provision of the rule that required manufacturers of products then on the market to provide critical information to the FDA about each product and undergo an FDA review of the product’s impact on public health.
This review also included whether it appeals to kids. Companies that did not comply would be banned from selling products. Doesn’t this seem like a regulation on the vape industry? I would say that it falls under the bill. But as we seek to make these products safer over time, which should be the goal of the vape industry anyway, the industry constantly comes under fire from groups such as these.
The FDA delayed the deadline for filing applications until August 2021 for cigars and other newly-regulated combustible products and until August 2022 for e-cigarettes. The FDA has also said that these products will remain on the market indefinitely during the review process and did not set a deadline for completing its review. This means that sellers are able to keep competitive and develop safer products for the market.
We’ll keep discussing this story as it develops and we hope you’ll share your opinions in the comment section.