The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recently announced an expansive new outline for regulating tobacco products, within it, the agency dramatically shifted their focus onto nicotine addiction and less on smoking products.
What does that mean for vaping products? For years, vaping has been under scrutiny and aligned with traditional, combustible tobacco products; partially because of the option to chose nicotine in vape liquids.
But there is more to it than that.
“It’s the other chemical compounds in tobacco, and in the smoke created by setting tobacco on fire, that directly and primarily cause the illness and death, not the nicotine,” said FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb.
And as part of the new plan, some of last year’s stringent regulations on vaping are going to be more relaxed. The FDA regulations that were announced last May were so tight that many were concerned it would affect the vaping industry, in several ways.
So what’s with the change of heart?
At the center of the FDA’s new strategy on nicotine is a push to lower levels of the chemical in products so individuals never become addicted to combustible smoking products.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), about 10 million people in the U.S. are e-cigarette users, many of whom were long-term smokers of combustible cigarettes and used vapor products to stop using the tobacco products. Similar to FDA-approved nicotine items like time release patches and chewing gums, e-cigarettes deliver the (customizable strength) nicotine smokers crave without combustion and its side effects. They are able to reduce the amount of nicotine in their vape juice (e-liquid) or ecig until they no longer desire it.
The FDA’s new Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb is taking action. Gottleib feels that the action to adjust these regulations should be swift, as it needs to be done quickly to prevent a generation of children from smoking. He plans to “pursue efforts to reduce addiction to nicotine with the same vigor” as efforts to reduce addiction to opioids.
E-cigarette manufacturers now have until 2022 (instead of 2018) submit pre-market applications for products that were on the market before the new rules took effect. The existing Obama era regulations made it harder to create and produce new vapes, and bring them to market.
“The FDA is committed to encouraging innovations that have the potential to make a notable public health difference,” the agency explained in a statement. “This action will afford the agency time to explore clear and meaningful measures to make tobacco products less toxic, appealing and addictive.”
This doesn’t mean the FDA is encouraging people to vape, but they are recognizing the shift in innovation.
What do you think of the FDA’s pivot in concentration?
Do you use nicotine in your vape?