E-cigarettes have become increasingly popular throughout the past few years, but could they be doing more harm than we realize? Sure, the different flavors might be more enticing, but are they just as bad as normal cigarettes?
In recent times the FDA has become quite concerned about the number of teenagers using E-cigarettes. They have basically warned all manufacturers that they would have to prove their capability when it comes to keeping these products out of the hands of young people. They even went so far as to call the number of teens using E-cigs an epidemic.
“E-cigarette use among youth has hit epidemic proportions.”
“I use the word epidemic with great care. E-cigs have become an almost ubiquitous and dangerous trend among teens. The disturbing and accelerating trajectory of use we’re seeing in youth, and the resulting path to addiction, must end. It’s simply not tolerable.”
“If young adults go online and buy 100 units of a product to sell to teens, that activity ought to be easy for a product manufacturer to identify. If manufacturers aren’t willing to do the research, he said, the FDA will do it for them, with appropriate consequences.”
He claims that the agency itself will be increasing federal enforcement actions in regards to the sale of E-cigs. Now, while this will cut down on the number of teens vaping, but it could also cause a spike in regards to actual cigarette use. Smoking is currently the number one preventable death in the US and I am sure it will remain as such for a good while longer.
But let me be clear that nicotine isn’t a benign substance. This is especially true when it comes to children and the effects that nicotine has on a developing brain. That’s why we need a strong regulatory process that puts these new products through an appropriate series of regulatory gates.
We need a regulatory process that requires product applications to show that the marketing of the product is appropriate for the protection of the health of the overall population. And we need a regulatory process that keeps these same electronic cigarette products out of the hands of youth.
This is our current policy framework to fulfill a central premise of our public health mandate.
We need to make sure that we properly evaluate the net public health impact of products like e-cigs before they get marketing authorization from the FDA and that these products meet their regulatory responsibilities. Such products may still pose health risks, including possibly releasing some chemicals at higher levels than conventional cigarettes, and these potential risks require closer scrutiny.
But since electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) products had only been recently brought under FDA’s regulatory jurisdiction, few of the foundational rules and guidance documents for defining and clarifying the premarket authorization process for such products had been established at the time I joined the FDA 17 months ago. So, to create this regulatory framework for how we’d properly evaluate the electronic nicotine delivery products, we’ve committed to the development of guidance and regulations, including product standards, that will better spell out the rules of the road. And we’re making significant progress toward achieving these procedural goals.
Officials claim they did not see the extent of the challenge that E-cigs would bring forth but, with flavors like fruit loops and gummy bear, why wouldn’t teens be interested? Regardless, does that mean we shouldn’t be allowed these flavors at all? Sure, those who are underaged shouldn’t be able to get their hands on these kinds of things but the truth is regardless of regulations they will still find a way.
What do you think about all of this? Perhaps this is a step in the right direction? I for one want to see how this one plays out.