In the last ten years, electronic cigarettes have exploded from non-existence to a $3.5 billion industry. A recent report by the Orange County Register showed that the number of stores selling e-cigarettes in Los Angeles County has risen by 34% from 2013 to 2016. Additionally an increase of 21% was reported in Orange County, 15% in San Bernardino County and 9% in Riverside County.
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On the other hand the FDA insists on demonizing vaping products and classifying them as tobacco products. The closing down of the small vape shops that cannot afford to pay the ridiculous licence fees imposed by the agency, is leading to big tobacco, (who are now also branching out to vaping products), having the market all to themselves once again. A move that is detrimental not only to public health, but also to the economy, as the rich tobacco companies get richer, and small vape shops and their employees are finding themselves out of jobs.
The evidence is as clear as crystal, vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking. A figure that was first released by Public Health England, and then confirmed by several other studies. While this data has been successfully endorsed by the UK, and is currently being reviewed by other countries, the US has been consistently refuting it.
What is being done?
In Congress, Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., and Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., have put forward a bipartisan legislation that would allow vapor products manufactured between 2007 and 2017 to remain on the market, subject to FDA rules that were in place during this period. Therefore such products which have already been used by nearly 10 million Americans for up to a decade would be saved from the unreasonably priced premarket tobacco product application process.
On the other hand Congressman Duncan Hunter, and R-El Cajon, have asked the Trump administration to repeal the deeming rule. “If the FDA’s overreach goes unchecked, then thousands of jobs and small businesses will disappear,” Hunter and Sen. Ron. Johnson, R-Wis., wrote to Vice President Mike Pence. “We respectfully urge the new Administration to consider repealing or suspending the FDA’s burdensome deeming regulation over e-cigarettes.”
Additionally Clive Bates, David Sweanor of Ottawa University, and Eli Lehrer, President of the R Street Institute also sent a proposal to the authorities suggesting a new and improved stance towards vaping products.
The need for innovation
US lawmakers are being urged to repeal and replace the current regulations, so that innovation can take place. New innovative products would benefit public health, and ensure a motivation to keep striving for safer products and in turn create new jobs and help the economy.