Friday, August 08, 2014

Based on a Lie, Senator Durbin and Colleagues Want to Put Thousands of Vape Shops Out of Business

In a letter sent to the FDA Commissioner on August 1, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and 12 Congressional colleagues demand an immediate ban on e-cigarette flavorings, based on what they purport is evidence that electronic cigarettes are a gateway to smoking.

They write: "What’s even more troubling is that these products serve as a gateway to traditional tobacco products.  A recent JAMA Pediatrics study found that middle and high-school students who used e-cigarettes were more likely to smoke traditional cigarettes and less likely to quit smoking." In support of this statement, they cite the Glantz and Dutra cross-sectional study of e-cigarette use and smoking among youth.

As I pointed out earlier this week, the truth is that this paper provides no evidence whatsoever that e-cigarette use is a gateway to smoking. Instead, it is entirely possible - and quite likely - that youths who use e-cigarettes are more likely to be heavier and more resistant smokers. I argued that by relying on this false evidence, the politicians are essentially lying to the American public. They are misrepresenting the scientific evidence, twisting it to try to support their pre-determined conclusion.

The Rest of the Story

Today, I reveal that to make matters worse, these politicians are not only lying about the scientific evidence, but they are using that lie to try to put thousands of vaping shops out of business. Specifically, the letter to the FDA calls for an immediate ban on e-cigarette flavorings. If such a ban is implemented, it will immediately put thousands of vaping shops out of business. In addition, it will eliminate the overwhelming majority of electronic cigarettes on the market. Such a regulation would essentially mean that there can be no variation in the ingredients of e-cigarette liquid. Every brand would be the same.

I think that if you are going to put thousands of people out of work, you ought to be doing it based on solid scientific evidence of the harm of their products. To do it based on a lie is inexcusable.

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