Last week on The Source, a Texas Public Radio news show, a spokesperson for the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) was confronted with a very solid and well-placed criticism of the agency's e-cigarette deeming regulations. The host asked her how she could defend these regulations in the face of uniform statements by vaping companies that "this is so onerous that this is going to drive them out of the business."
In response, the CTP spokesperson defended the regulations by stating: "It's important to remember that we're talking about products that kill people."
The Rest of the Story
Let's get the facts straight. Yes, it is true that we're talking about products that kill people. But those products are not called e-cigarettes; they're called real tobacco cigarettes.
That the FDA is forced to resort to lying in order to defend its regulations suggests that it realizes it doesn't have a leg to stand on. If there were a legitimate public health reason for putting an onerous, expensive burden on vaping businesses that is going to drive most of them out of business, I'm sure that the FDA would immediately be able to tell us what it is. Destroying thousands of small businesses is not something that we in public health take lightly.
But the rest of the story is that the FDA cannot tell us what the reason is. The only thing they can resort to in defending their onerous regulations is lying. The regulations are needed because we're talking about products that kill people.
Well, let's get one thing straight. The products that are killing people are real cigarettes. And the FDA has chosen to give these cigarettes a completely free ride by putting every possible economic burden in front of much safer smoke-free, tobacco-free cigarettes so that they have little hope of being able to compete with the killer products.