FDA Chief extends flavor ban probe by 30-days amid crushing defeat of Prop E
Thanks to vaping advocacy groups like the Vaping Technology Association (VTA) and others, the federal probe seeking public input regarding a possible flavor ban on e-liquids is being extended by another 30-days. Vaping enthusiasts and supporters can now submit electronic or handwritten comments to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by July 16, 2018. The FDA deadline revision has not been highly published, but it appears on the agency’s website in the form of Docket Number FDA-2017-N-6189.
”Tobacco Product Standard for Nicotine Level of Combusted Cigarettes Docket No: FDA-2017-N-6189 Date: Comment period extended through July 16, 2018
Summary: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is issuing this advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) to obtain information for consideration in developing a tobacco product standard to set the maximum nicotine level for cigarettes. Because tobacco-related harms ultimately result from addiction to the nicotine in such products, causing repeated use and exposure to toxicants, FDA is considering taking this action to reduce the level of nicotine in these products so they are minimally addictive or nonaddictive, using the best available science to determine a level that is appropriate for the protection of the public health.”
Advocacy groups are strongly encouraging anyone associated with the vaping community – including everyday vapers and consumers, vape shop owners, and e-liquid manufacturers – to submit positive comments before the new deadline expires. As of the time of this writing, the FDA flavor ban probe has received nearly 250,000 submissions.
However, vapers should not assume that the totality of these comments are decidedly pro-vaping. In fact, a substantial portion will likely come from highly funded, well-organized, and extremely motivated anti-vaping organizations like the American Lung Association and the Campaign for Tobacco-free kids. The time to act is now!
FDA Chief Scott Gottlieb warns vaping to ‘step up soon’
Last Tuesday, the city of San Francisco passed Proposition E (Prop E), municipal legislation that is almost identical to the potentially forthcoming federal regulations per the FDA probe. Despite a 12-month long campaign from vaping advocacy groups across the nation, opposition to Prop E failed to gain enough traction. The bill passed, setting a legal precedent that is not going unnoticed in other cities and counties across the nation.
Related Article: San Francisco vaping gets a shellacking; Prop E passes & flavor ban goes in effect
The next major cities to put flavor ban legislation on the docket will be Chicago and New York. As more and more cities implement flavor ban legislation, the FDA will be far more likely to “follow the trend.”
On June 3 just days prior to the San Francisco vote, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb made a speech to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Within the context of his message, he issued the following cryptically-worded warning to American vapers.
“They (The American vaping industry) better step up and step up soon – to address these trends along with us. So far, I must say, I’ve mostly been disappointed by the tepid response from companies that know that a meaningful portion of their sales are being derived from kids.”
While many might argue that a bill making the brick-and-mortar sales of flavored e-liquids and tobacco products illegal is “no big deal,” implementing these sorts of federal regulations is a very slippery slope.
Vapers could easily purchase their vaping supplies online from foreign vendors, but vapers would be forced to pay significantly higher shipping fees, too.
They would also likely encounter extensive delays in deliveries.
Vapers may fall victim to subpar or possibly even dangerously unhealthy products for foreign vendors with fewer or no federal guidelines.
Meanwhile, thousands of retailers and manufacturers within the American vaping industry may be forced to close their doors. Many may even be forced to file bankruptcy.
Related Article: Are FDA-required biometric vaporizers the next frontier in vaping?
Will the vaping community rally in opposition to the FDA flavor ban probe? How many vapers will take the time to submit electronic comments in favor of flavored vape juice? The FDA wants to hear from everyone. In the March 20 press statement announcing the launching of the federal probe, the FDA even provides the link for submission of electronic comments.
“You may submit comments as follows. Please note that late, untimely filed comments will not be considered. Electronic comments must be submitted on or before June 19, 2018. The https://www.regulations.gov electronic filing system will accept comments until midnight Eastern Time at the end of June 19, 2018. Comments received by mail/hand delivery/courier (for written/paper submissions) will be considered timely if they are postmarked or the delivery service acceptance receipt is on or before that date.”
The time to act is now! Click Here to submit comments. Let’s not repeat what happened in San Francisco!
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