If you haven't been under a rock the last couple of days and tune into vaping news you've certainly heard the recent comments layout by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding a potential flavor ban.
The FDA has “declared war” on vaping, what National Review’s Kevin Williamson calls “the most popular smoking-cessation tool on the market.” The FDA’s has ordered the largest companies in the vape business (3/4 of them are actually Big Tobacco companies) to submit plans to keep their products out of the hands of minors or be taken off the market.
This sporadic and unexpected call for immediate action is what many are calling the FDA's predictably lazy federal approach to vaping regulations. The organization has further threatened the industry that they have damning evidence to show teen vaping is at "epidemic" levels. Last time we checked we have obese children approaching epidemic levels yet the FDA has done little to nothing to stop that train wreck.
The industry as a whole fully supports fair regulations to a product that is not deemed for underage consumption. However, the alternative approach that would require laborious but straightforward actions to deal with those who sell vaping products to minors, “investigate, arrest, charge, fine, repeat — and, if necessary, jail major offenders” is just too much for the FDA to handle.
So who’s the winner of a broader war on vaping? Well, shares of all the tobacco titans increase over 7% since these announcements. We urge the FDA to reconsider these statements and recognize that actions to prevent the industry from moving forward is just going to drive more people to traditional cigarettes and that is not a viable option.