Health groups suing FDA over e-cigarettes under fire
A COLLECTION of health groups who is suing the FDA for delaying e-cigarette regulations in a bid to get them banned, has come under fire.
The new lawsuit issued this week challenges the FDA’s decision in August to delay the review of certain vaping products and cigars until 2022.
It was a move which was welcomed by the vaping community, which feared many of its tobacco-alternative products would needlessly be banned if they had to be reviewed in the original timeframe.
But the medical groups who have now filed a lawsuit against the FDA claim the delay means tobacco products targeting children and teenagers remain on the market.
It also states consumers, as a result, will be exposed for years to “lethal and addictive components” in tobacco products.
But the move has come under fire by the vaping community, not least because one of the organizations suing the FDA is Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids which has previous strategic alliances with tobacco giant Philip Morris.
Also in the line-up is American Academy of Pediatrics, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and Truth Initiative as well as several pediatricians.
The vaping industry also believes this week's legal action is further proof the FDA and its commissioner Scott Gottlieb are working with the tobacco control industry to obstruct its safer alternatives to smoking.
Prominent pro vaper Clive Bates wrote on social media site Twitter following the news: “@FDATobacco and @SGottliebFDA now functioning as a protection racket for Big Tobacco via regulatory barriers to entry. They really don’t know what they are doing.”
While industry blogger Dick Puddlecote tweeted: “Surely a rock-bottom low point for the already vile and malignant tobacco control industry - they are actually suing the FDA for not obstructing safer alternatives to smoking enough. #NotAboutHealth.”
Jim McDonald added: “Watch the FDA wipe out the upstart industry begun by ex-smokers while the tobacco industry uses its $$ and weight to keep doing what it's always done. Note: @FDATobacco is 100% funded by the cigarette industry.”
One of the groups suing the FDA, the American Lung Association, insisted however, that they launched the lawsuit to protect children from vaping.
It said in a statement: “The FDA's decision to delay product reviews leaves young people more vulnerable to kid-friendly e-cigarettes and cigars that may lead to a lifetime of tobacco addiction."
The FDA had originally implemented a rule in 2016 that forced all e-cigarettes and cigars made after February 2007 to receive agency approval. The rule was mandated by Congress as part of a 2009 law that established FDA oversight of tobacco products.
However, in August 2017 it delayed the deadline for implementing the rule until 2022, much to the joy of American vapers.
The FDA declined to comment on the legal action.