In a press release on Monday, April 28, 2014, The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) says that pending regulations on e-cigarettes have huge costs and very little benefits. The proposed regulations were released by the FDA last week (April 24) and layout the framework for other regulations to come in the future. CASAA believes that if these regulations are finalized, the rule in its current form will inflict devastating harm on consumers.
“This is a classic case of government imposing a ‘solution’ and then looking for a problem,” said CASAA President Julie Woessner, J.D. “The regulations do nothing to address real concerns, and instead are a slow-motion ban of the high quality e-cigarettes that have helped so many smokers quit. The rules would mostly require busy-work filings that impose huge costs with little apparent benefit.”
“The proposed regulations are based on a faulty understanding of the science,” reports CASAA Scientific Director, Dr. Carl V. Phillips. “FDA has cherry-picked the available evidence,” says Phillips, “blindly accepting any assertion that favors aggressive regulation and ignoring the overwhelming evidence about the harms that these regulations would cause.”
The FDA has proposed regulations that do not ban refillable electronic cigarettes outright; however, the proposed regulations impose a costly registration and approval process that will effectively eliminate them from the market. These proposed regulations favor Big Tobacco companies that produce disposable e-cigarettes, because they are the only companies who are realistically able to afford the registration process that will be put in place should the regulations be finalized.
“Our research and others’ shows that higher-quality hardware and appealing flavors are important for smoking cessation,” says Phillips. “Many former smokers report that they were always tempted to go back to smoking while using the smaller devices with imitation tobacco flavoring, but they quit smoking for good when they found better hardware and flavors that no longer reminded them of smoking.”
The CASAA warns of a black market being created by those who are priced out of the market should the regulations become finalized. According to the press release, it is estimated that nearly a million Americans have quit smoking or significantly reduced their use of traditional cigarettes thanks to e-cigarettes. If the FDA regulations pass many of the people who have switched to “vaping” will likely go back to smoking, and many people who could have benefitted from using electronic cigarettes will never find out about the benefits they offer.
CASAA is currently working on a response to the proposed FDA regulations and is rallying its members and hundreds of thousands of e-cigarette users in attempt to persuade the FDA of the harm the proposed regulations will do if passed. There is a 75-day comment period that allows the public to comment on the proposed regulations, but many e-cigarette users are waiting for the CASAA to prepare their response before they leave a comment. Once the comment time period has lapsed, the FDA must review each comment and concern and take them all into consideration before finalizing the regulations. If the comments left during the 75-day period do not persuade the FDA of the harm that will be done, CASAA plans to fight the regulations in court.