When It Comes To Vaping, “FDA” Might As Well Stand For “Freedom Denial Agency.”
ANNA EDNEY, BLOOMBERG NEWS
POSTED: Thursday, October 17, 2013, 2:01 AM
The $1.5 billion U.S. electronic-cigarette industry has tripled sales this year with the help of TV ads, NASCAR sponsorships, and product giveaways. Government regulation may now threaten those marketing tactics.
The Food and Drug Administration is set to decide this month whether to lump e-cigarettes with conventional smokes as part of its oversight of the $90 billion U.S. tobacco market. Such a step would set the stage for greater restrictions on production, advertising, flavorings, and online sales.
With at least 40 U.S. states seeking stricter rules and federal health officials raising the alarm about e-cigarette use by children, manufacturers of the smokeless devices are preparing for a FDA crackdown.
“We do anticipate becoming a regulated industry, so it is very possible the way in which we advertise will change,” said Andries Verleur, cofounder of e-cigarette maker VMR Products.
E-cigarettes heat liquid nicotine into an inhaled vapor without the tar of normal cigarettes. Currently, marketers operate with few, if any, of the regulatory limits that apply to tobacco companies such as Philip Morris USA and Reynolds American Inc. TV ads by tobacco companies were banned in 1971, and in 2010 the FDA eliminated cigarette sampling.
With the FDA seeking to expand its regulatory authority beyond conventional cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, some e-cigarette companies are opening up the marketing spigot while they can.
The lengths to which regulators will go to seize every possible product and industry they can and then yoke it for exorbitant taxation and Draconian micromanagement seems to know no bounds.
Once again we see the threadbare argument that flavorings other than tobacco are intended to entice kids, along with the oft-debunked and patently dishonest claim that kids are “using” e-cigarettes. To reiterate, the study that claim is based on did not employ any methodology which would show usage, only experimentation.
Here’s a shocking fact: I have experimented with LSD. That does not make me a habitual user of LSD — but according to the FDA’s “logic”, it would.
In the author’s note in my book, Smokeless, I mentioned the possibility of exactly this kind of regulatory chicanery; it pains me to see the worst-case scenario I referred to inexorably drawing nearer as a government that has long lost its understanding of its place as servant of the people continues to play at being our Master.
EDIT: I just found this quote from Thomas Paine from his 1791 work, Rights Of Man, the relevance of which, sadly, has come ’round again:
“If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute.”
You can get Smokeless: An Introductory Guide To The Pleasures Of Vaping for $2.99 for Amazon Kindle.