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PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Institute Experts React to FDA Threatening E-Cig Producers Over Teen Vaping

September 12, 2018

“Although ‘protecting the children’ is a laudable goal, this rhetoric is overused and threatens the millions of smokers who have quit smoking combustible cigarettes by using these products.” - Lindsey Stroud

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered five e-cigarette manufacturers to address what they describe as an “epidemic” of teenage vaping within 60 days, or face possible restrictions of their products on the market. The companies targeted are Blu, Juul, Logic, MarkTen, and Vuse.

The following statements from health care experts at The Heartland Institute —a free-market think tank— may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program —including a live TV remote from Heartland’s studio, which can connect to any station or network in the world— please contact Media Specialist Billy Aouste at media@heartland.org and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 847/445-7554.


“FDA seems to just be going around in circles. Despite the alarmism, youth vaping dropped in 2016 and remained flat in 2017. And youth cigarette smoking—it’s at an all-time low. As tobacco companies have been doing for decades, electronic cigarette manufacturers are investing millions into anti-youth initiatives, and some states like Massachusetts have publicly refused to take their money. Retailers in vape shops practice strict and responsible policies to ensure underage consumers are not purchasing vaping products. FDA has yet to approve a premarket tobacco product application. Delaying such products limits companies’ ability to modify their current products to be even more child-resistant, including locks on these products. Although ‘protecting the children’ is a laudable goal, this rhetoric is overused and threatens the millions of smokers who have quit smoking combustible cigarettes by using these products.”

Lindsey Stroud
State Government Relations Manager
The Heartland Institute
lstroud@heartland.org
312/377-4000


“Many harm reduction advocates— including myself— truly believed that the new FDA commissioner was going to make positive, long-lasting changes to the way FDA regulates tobacco and nicotine products. Regrettably, with each month that passes, it becomes clearer that Gottlieb sees himself as more of a politician than a regulator. A regulator waits for the science before acting, while a politician looks at news stories and hysteria-filled letters from Democratic senators and decides that his own political future is more important than what the data shows.

“It did not take Wall Street analysts long to recognize that the FDA action was nothing more than a gift to the tobacco industry. Stocks for Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, and Altria all shot up today on the news that FDA may ban innovative market disruptors like JUUL.

“The extremes of the regulatory state under the Obama administration helped fuel Donald Trump’s successful presidential bid. If President Trump wants a second term, allowing his FDA commissioner to attack over 10 million Americans is not the way to go.”

Greg Conley
President, American Vaping Association
Research Fellow, Tobacco Policy
The Heartland Institute
gconley@vaping.org
312/377-4000

Author
Lindsey Stroud joined The Heartland Institute in 2016 as a Government Relations Coordinator. In 2017, Lindsey was named State Government Relations Manager.
lstroud@heartland.org
Author
Gregory Conley was a research fellow with the Heartland Institute from February 2014 to February 2015. He now runs the American Vaping Association, a nonprofit that advocates for vaping products as a tool to help smokers quit.
gconley@vaping.org @GregTHR