FDA Friday, June 6th

Hi everybody, and welcome to another FDA Friday, where we examine recent discussions that have arisen ever since the FDA decided to propose to deem e-cigs to be “tobacco products.” Last week, there was a bunch of bad news, bad opinions, and interesting food for thought. This week has been a bit slower, but it the news situation at least is looking better.

On the legislative front, ECF member wv2win spoke at some length with Senator Isakson’s (GA) legislative assistant about the FDA’s deeming proposal. Senator Isakson, as it turns out, is opposed to the FDA action. Better yet, Isakson is also aware that nearly every vape shop in Georgia represents a small business employing between 5 and 15 people, and he seems to be deeply concerned about how an e-cig ban would affect employment. Isakson is among the senators whose friends have successfully been able to quit smoking with e-cigs, and his awareness of the benefits of vaping may continue to spread around Washington. Good job, wv2win!

There have also been a couple of exciting reports coming from Canada:

First, the Ottawa Citizen published an article by Mark Tyndall, Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa, in which Tyndall comments on the relative lack of effectiveness that public anti-smoking campaigns have had. Tyndall suggests that Canadian policy is characterized by “too little focus on prevention,” reminds us that the negative health effects of smoking have “everything to do with the toxins inhaled through burning tobacco,” and argues that “E-cigarettes are the ultimate harm reduction intervention.”

For this week’s Canadian content double-whammy, the CBC has reported about the letter a large number of public health experts sent last week to the WHO, noting that five Canadian scientists have signed the tobacco harm reduction statement. In an interview with the CBC, David Sweanor, a Law professor at the University of Ottawa, stated that e-cigarettes are a technology that has the ability to “make cigarettes obsolete.” The CBC report suggests that statements such as these may have a positive effect on public health regulations in Canada.

More relevant to American readers, the CBC also notes that the WHO will be reviewing its tobacco recommendations at the next meeting, which will be in Moscow, October 13-18, 2014, so keep your eyes peeled when this happens, because in light of the recent UK study demonstrating that e-cigs are the most effective took for quitting smoking, it seems likely that good things may come of it.

That’s all for this week. See you again soon!

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