As mainstream support begins to grow for vaping, another group of doctors is calling for the FDA to acknowledge the benefits vaping has on smoking cessation.
Seven top international tobacco control experts have come together to release an article in the renown medical journal Addiction that outlines the advantages of vaping, with an aim at encouraging the regulators at the United States Food and Drug Administration to have an open mind when it comes to their proposed regulation of vape products. The group, led by David T. Levy, Ph.D. of Georgetown University, released the report earlier this week and has since been picked up by ScienceDaily and The San Diego Union-Tribune.
The group of tobacco experts found that through their data analysis, which covered the years since vaping was introduced to the public, found that vaping has drastically reduced the number of active smokers in the United States and worldwide. The findings, which were pooled together using various studies done since 2007, show that although smoking is still a significant problem, the introducing of vaping products has actually helped improved the numbers of smokers who quit smoking traditional cigarettes for good.
In an article posted on The Daily Caller, David Levy, who is a professor in the Oncology Department at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and lead expert on the study, released a statement that read in part, “We’re concerned the FDA, which has asserted its right to regulate e-cigarettes, will focus solely on the possibility that e-cigarettes and other vapor nicotine products might act as a gateway to cigarette use.”
The FDA has indeed taken control over the regulation of vaping products. However, earlier this month, the House Appropriations Committee, which has jurisdiction over the vaping industry matter, voted to amend the predicate date set for by the FDA to a more recent date, allowing vape companies and businesses to be grandfathered into the law that would see all new products to go through a pre-review process before hitting the marketplace.
This review process is expected to cost a million dollars for every new product, and with the former predicate date of February 15, 2007, would have rendered nearly every business on the market invalid, effectively shutting down the industry within the US.
However, as the House Appropriations Committee moves to have the amendment voted on the floor of both the House and the Senate, vaping advocates continue to push for the FDA and other public health agencies to discuss the positive effects vaping has had on the public, warning that by punishing the vape industry with strict regulations and high taxation is counter intuitive to the goal of eliminating smoking once and for all.
“Increasing e-cigarette prices by taxing them the same way as cigarettes will discourage youth VNP use, but also discourage use by smokers, especially those of lower socioeconomic status, who are trying to quit,” Levy said in the conclusion of the study.
Why is this study important? The study shows that a variety of international experts, including experts from Australia, Canada, and other countries, have come together to the same conclusion — that the vaping industry is in need of encouragement from medical organizations. Although much is still left to be learned about the effects of vaping, one thing is certain — dismissing it as a form of alternative treatment to smoking cessation is a dangerous tactic, and should be avoided at all costs.