The draft guideline was released just weeks before Commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s set exit. This move was infact one of Gottlieb’s priorities following the backlash he faced for the alleged increase in teen vaping, which many conveniently blamed on the PMTA delay.
Flavours Banned from most retail outlets
The guidance calls for the ban of flavoured products with the exception of tobacco, mint or menthol-flavored e-cigarettes, from retail stores that minors can access easily, such as convenience stores or gas stations.
Additionally, the document has also announced that the infamous PMTA deadline which the FDA has been heavily criticised for, will now be moved a year forward from 2022 to 2021. Only last week, U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey once again called out Gottlieb for the delay, saying that it was a “big, big whopping mistake” and that it helped fuel the alleged rise in teen vaping.
In response to these accusations, the Commissioner had explained that the agency was trying keep a balance between making the products inaccessible for youth and keeping them available for adults who want to quit smoking.
“We’re trying to thread a public health needle here where we preserve some element of the availability of these products for adults while foreclosing them for kids, or at least really dramatically curtailing the availability of kids to access these products,” he said. Sadly, only a few days later, there is no sign of this balance.
Misinformation informing policy?
The infamous PreMarket Tobacco Applications (PMTA) delay had been announced in August 2017. Following this, the FDA had become the recipient of mounting pressures from a number of groups including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and Truth Initiative, who even sued the agency.
In recent years, these organizations have all been responsible for ignoring the scientific evidence in favour of vaping products as harm reduction and smoking cessation tools, and sharing misinformation about vaping that could be costing a number of smokers their lives.
The public will have 30 days to comment on the guideline, which will other wise go into effect 30 days after it is finalized.
Read Further: Vaping360