President Donald Trump’s budget proposal, wants to place a “user fee” on vaping products with the intention of generating approximately $100 million annually. The administration is claiming that this revenue would be used to fund regulatory programs and public health campaigns run by the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. This of course, despite the fact that vaping products contain no tobacco.
Actual tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco are already subject to such fees, and the White House budget proposal is stating that including vaping products is necessary in order to ensure that the FDA “has the resources to address today’s alarming rise in youth e-cigarette use.”
The danger of imposing the same taxes on cigarettes and safer alternatives
Public Health experts on the other hand, keep explaining that imposing the same regulations and taxes on vaping products as on tobacco products, keeps sending the wrong message to the public, and deterring smokers from switching to the safer alternatives that could potentially save their lives.
In line with this, data compiled by the National Cancer Institute’s Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) last year, had indicated that more smokers mistakenly believed that e-cigarettes were more harmful than regular cigarettes in 2017, than they did in 2013.
Are the efforts against teen vaping justified?
With regards to the “alarming rise in youth e-cigarette use”, while the FDA has been launching several efforts in an attempt to fight this alleged “epidemic”, several entities believe that the agency is overreacting and that these actions will prove counterproductive.
Last November, Iowa’s Attorney General Miller and a number of health experts, including Professor of Community Health and Health Behavior Former Dean School of Public Health and Health Professions University at Buffalo, Lynn T. Kozlowski, Ph.D., and Chair of Advisory Board of the Center for Health Law, Policy and Ethics at the University of Ottawa, David Sweanor JD, had sent a joint letter to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, explaining the dangers that lie in the agency’s disproportionate actions
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