The PJ Tatler

Congress Pushes Back Against FDA E-Cig Regulation

The electronic cigarette industry has been booming over the last few years, which means the government nanny state regulators are stepping forward to start handing down some rules.

Yesterday, the House of Representatives pushed back against some of the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed e-cig regulations.

“A spending bill approved by a House subcommittee Thursday would prevent the Food and Drug Administration from requiring pre-market reviews of e-cigarettes that already are on the market.”

The FDA wants e-cigs already on the market to retroactively clear “pre-market approval” from the agency. As of now, e-cigs aren’t regulated at all. Rather than just institute the new regulations on future e-cig products, the FDA wants all the e-cigs to submit to the new process so the agency can make certain they are “appropriate for the protection of the public health.”  The House bill would shut that down.

Republicans said the pre-market review would be a lengthy and expensive process that could drive companies out of business. Alabama Republican Rep. Robert Aderholt, who sponsored the bill, said the provision is just a technical change that would keep the newer products under FDA oversight but allow them to be regulated in the same way as older tobacco products. The legislation would not affect the FDA’s proposal to ban the sales of the products to minors and would still allow certain product standards.

Public health groups are concerned that the legislation would allow e-cig companies to market their products to children. In particular these “health advocates” say that certain flavors of e-cig juice are designed to lure children to use them, flavors like fruit punch or candy flavors.  However, there are age restrictions on purchasing e-cigs.

If you’re old enough to figure out how to use this,

ecig3

you probably aren’t going to be lured into taking up vaping because of the neat candy flavors.

The bill “is nothing short of a giveaway to the tobacco industry,” said New York Rep. Nita Lowey, the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee. Someone should tell Ms. Lowey that e-cigs have nothing to do with tobacco, they are about nicotine. Nicotine and tobacco are not the same thing.

FDA spokesman Michael Felberbaum said: “When finalized, the rule will represent a significant first step in the agency’s ability to effectively regulate tobacco products and, as we learn more about these products, the agency will have additional opportunities over the long term to make a positive difference in the public health burden of tobacco use in this country.”

Looks like the FDA is just getting started.