Hello everybody, and welcome to a very exciting edition of FDA Fridays. This week, CASAA revealed their second call to prepare comments, followed shortly by their fourth call to action. Please, follow the links, share them, and do your part to help fight the FDA’s blindly antiscientific and dangerous challenge to electronic cigarettes.

Briefly, CASAA’s fourth call to action asks you to review your prepared comments to the FDA. If you have not prepared your comments, please follow the suggestions in their first and second calls to prepare comments. Then, compile all of your comments into a single word file, and add the header they supply (making sure to save a copy!), then check one last time you have *all* the content you could possibly add to give you credibility, to mention your stake in vaping organizations like CASAA, and remind the FDA that electronic cigarettes are an important tool you have used to keep yourself from smoking. Then, submit your comments. Together, we can flood the FDA with support for tobacco harm reduction.

Once again, this FDA stuff is a big freaking deal, so please be sure to get any other vaper you know on board. It might seem like an exaggeration, but it really is now or never.

Around the internet, you can see this great speech by Professor Peter Hajek of Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of London, about why it is a very bad idea to enact a knee-jerk ban on electronic cigarettes. In similar news, Michael Siegel reports on the twisted logic that recently led the Michigan Medical Society to oppose a ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. The short version of the story is “because the law would make electronic cigarettes harder to tax.”

Siegel’s article has a couple of well-articulated quotes in it that should make you feel a little warm and fuzzy inside, including public policy expert Ken Braun’s brilliant “Confusing [smoking with electronic cigarettes] is like comparing shoplifting a t-shirt with aggravated murder.”

Lezlie Lowe at the Nova Scotia Chronicle Herald suggests we stop for a moment and figure out how to classify vaping, which is exactly the kind of sensible point that we should see published more often. Sadly, it’s also a very Canadian point of view, but it’s still nice to read. In the US, almost counterintuitively, it seems that many policymakers in the Democratic party (especially in Washington) are the ones lobbying heavily against vaping.

In another bit of unsurprising news that’s still nice to see, Michael Felberbaum of The Associated Press reports that electronic cigarettes are very much cheaper than traditional cigarettes. Kudos to dallasnews.com for carrying this piece. If you read this and feel it’s a little tedious, just remember that it could instead be another poorly-conceived op-ed railing against vaping, and sometimes good news is indeed worth reporting on, even if it isn’t exactly timely.

And now, for something weird: this article in the WSJ’s “Market Watch” section suggesting e-cigs may not be the key to the salvation of tobacco companies. Angela Johnson reports that people are moving away from pricy, disposable, electronic cigarettes (that is, brands owned by tobacco companies), and that they are instead migrating towards loyalty to independent brands because they are less expensive. Well, of course they are. Johnson does not seem to be aware that increasing numbers of vapers are taking the DIY route with either their flavors or their e-liquids, because they don’t see the point of spending money they don’t need to.

Johnson’s article suggests that hope still remains for local, independent, vape shops, so go and thank yours today!

If you’re looking for some content for your letter to the FDA, Tony Newman of the Drug Policy Alliance recently published an article reminding us that electronic cigarettes help people quit smoking. Although many of us already knew this, Newman’s strong claim that “elected officials and anti-smoking advocates need to re-think their knee-jerk reaction and hostility to e-cigarettes” is still refreshing.

All in all, pro-tobacco shills and public health opponents like this seem to have run out of cogent arguments against vaping. This isn’t a surprise, as there are not yet any cogent arguments against vaping. Nevertheless, vapers seem to have really gotten together and effectively backed up their experience with solid evidence. Let’s hope that the FDA listens. If they don’t, let’s hope the legislative branch does!

Between the lack of evidence against vaping and the recent conflicts of interest recently discovered in the FDA’s claims (via Bill Godshall), this is more and more seeming like a winnable fight, so get your story told by submitting it to the FDA, and don’t forget to share your reference number with CASAA (which you should join!) for posterity.

Well, I look forward to next week, but in the meanwhile, go ahead and leave some comments if you have any.  See you all soon!