In particular, the American Heart Association and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids lamented the Appeals Court's ruling with only thinly veiled vitriol.
According to a New York Times article: "The American Heart Association was among the antitobacco groups to support a drug ban or tighter regulation. “We’re gravely concerned about the implications of today’s ruling,” the association’s chief executive, Nancy Brown, said in a statement. “The appeals court has cleared the way for the industry to peddle these products to consumers without any scrutiny as to their safety or efficacy. There is no scientific evidence that e-cigarettes are effective smoking cessation devices and, until they undergo rigorous evaluation by the Food and Drug Administration, they should be pulled from the marketplace. With this ruling, e-cigarette manufacturers will continue to make misleading claims that their products can help smokers quit.”"
According to the same article: "The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a Washington advocacy group, said the ruling would leave an unregulated period before the F.D.A. could assert jurisdiction. “This decision will allow any manufacturer to put any level of nicotine in any product and sell it to anybody, including children, with no government regulation or oversight at the present time,” the campaign’s president, Matthew L. Myers, said in a statement. “We urge the government to appeal this ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.”"
In a press release, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids complained that the appeals court ruling was "wrong on the law, wrong on the facts" and "harmful to public health." The press release stated: "A federal appeals court ruling today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cannot regulate electronic cigarettes as drugs and devices is wrong on the law, wrong on the facts and fails to take into account the harmful implications of this decision for public health. This decision will allow any manufacturer to put any level of nicotine in any product and sell it to anybody, including children, with no government regulation or oversight at the present time. We urge the government to appeal this ruling."
"While the court found that the FDA could regulate electronic cigarettes as tobacco products, it will take the FDA time to assert jurisdiction over these products and issue regulations governing them, leaving these products unregulated in the meantime. This ruling invites the creation of a wild west of products containing highly addictive nicotine, an alarming prospect for public health."
The Rest of the Story
Let's examine the insane logic of each of these organizations.
American Heart Association: The American Heart Association argues that because we are unsure whether electronic cigarettes help smokers quit, they must be removed from the market. In other words, if people have a choice of smoking regular tobacco cigarettes or the much safer electronic ones, we'd rather that people smoke the regular ones because they might not quit the regular ones completely.
That's insane logic, and it defies scientific reason. Even if electronic cigarettes were not helping smokers quit completely, they would still represent a significant health benefit because every e-cigarette vaped is one less cigarette smoked. Apparently, these organizations have never heard of harm reduction. It's literally quit or die. If you're not going to quit using nicotine altogether, then you might as well just die.
I'm sorry to hear that the American Heart Association wants electronic cigarettes off the market because they don't live up to the safety standard of the alternative product: tobacco industry cigarettes.
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids: The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids argues that this ruling allows any manufacturer to put any amount of nicotine in any product and sell it to kids without any regulation. This, too, is insane logic. The only possible product that one could put nicotine into and sell to the public without current regulation would be a cigarette or smokeless tobacco product of some sort. After all, there are only really two major ways of taking in nicotine. One is to ingest it. In that case, the product is a food and is subject to strict FDA regulation. The other is to inhale it, in which case the product is called a cigarette.
The Campaign argues that the ruling is wrong on the law, but fails to provide any reasoning for how the Court erred in its decision. The Campaign argues that the ruling is wrong on the facts, but fails to articulate exactly what facts the Court got wrong. The Campaign also fails to articulate exactly how allowing electronic cigarettes to remain on the market is going to harm the public's health. Frankly, this sounds more like an angry rant than a well-reasoned argument.
The rest of the story is that the American Heart Association and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids would rather that smokers use FDA-approved cigarettes which have been thoroughly studied and are subject to rigorous manufacturing controls than to use the unapproved, but much safer electronic cigarettes, simply because they have not been thoroughly studied.
To borrow an analogy from Jacob Sullum, this is like telling people in a sinking ship not to use the lifeboat because it has not been thoroughly inspected and tested and certified for safety.