Skip Navigation

Heartland Institute Vaping Experts Comment on FDA’s E-Cigarette Rule

May 5, 2016

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today published its “deeming regulations” for electronic cigarettes, requiring e-cigarette manufacturers to submit their products through an arduous federal approval process.

tax documents

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today published its “deeming regulations” for electronic cigarettes, requiring e-cigarette manufacturers to submit their products through an arduous federal approval process. The rules, which treat e-cigarattes as a “tobacco product,” apply to all vaping products that entered the market since February 15, 2007. That would essentially ban 99 percent of all vapor products currently on the market pending FDA approval. The regulation takes effect on August 8, 2016.

The following statements from vaping and smoking-cessation 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, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at and 312/377-4000.

“It is critical that today’s 39 million adult American smokers and nine million adult vapers continue to have access to lower-risk smoke-free products, including e-cigarettes. If the new FDA rule opens the door to continued legal marketing of tobacco harm-reduction products, it is a welcome public health measure. Keeping tobacco out of the hands of children is critical, but regulation must not impede adult access to these lifesaving products.”

Dr. Brad Rodu
Professor of Medicine
Endowed Chair, Tobacco Harm Reduction Research
University of Louisville
Senior Fellow, The Heartland Institute

“In an absurdly short-sighted move, the FDA has decided to place electronic cigarettes under an avalanche of new regulations by requiring them to be approved as a new tobacco product, nearly equating them to traditional cigarettes.

“Vaping is not the same as smoking tobacco products, and many smokers use e-cigarettes to stop smoking, thereby reducing the likelihood of suffering from serious tobacco-related illnesses in the future, such as lung cancer. E-cigarettes and other vaping devices have far fewer negative consequences for vapers and bystanders, and they should not be treated the same as tobacco products.

“These burdensome regulations, which could cost as high as $1 million per application, will block dozens of new, innovative products from even making it to the marketplace, leaving those who are looking for a less-harmful alternative to smoking with limited options.”

Matthew Glans
Senior Policy Analyst
The Heartland Institute

“The FDA is insisting that it is relying on sound science, but its decision today to regulate e-cigarettes and vaporized nicotine products as tobacco seems more like ‘regulated’ science. Numerous studies have shown that e-cigarettes and vaporized products cause significantly less health damage than traditional cigarettes, and that they’re just as effective as other nicotine replacement products, such as the patch, in helping smokers quit.

“This is a blow into the face of Americans who are trying to quit their addictions to tobacco. Perhaps most troubling is that the FDA is attaching the same stigma of cigarettes to these new products, instead of utilizing the effectiveness of these products to move smokers away from using tobacco. Today, the government just showed us how much American cigarette smokers are continuing to be babied by their nanny state, even when they’re trying to quit smoking.”

Lindsey Stroud
Government Relations Coordinator
The Heartland Institute

“The FDA’s decision to exceed its legislative mandate under the Tobacco Control Act of 2009, and effectively kill off a viable and proven method of smoking cessation, represents a win for Big Tobacco and a loss for consumers.

“E-cigarettes, by their nature, are a product used by consumers as a substitute for tobacco that lacks the carcinogenic substances produced by burning tobacco leaves in little pieces of rolled-up paper. Because e-cigarettes deliver lower levels of nicotine, but simulate an experience smokers find enjoyable, individuals wishing to quit smoking have found e-cigarettes to be a useful way to wean themselves off of nicotine. Conversely, tobacco companies benefit from the new rule, because FDA has now made it more difficult to quit smoking.

“For years, clinical studies have found that e-cigarettes empirically improve smokers’ chances of successful cessation. FDA’s actions today suggest that it is uninterested in actually helping people in ways proven to work.”

Jesse Hathaway
Research Fellow
The Heartland Institute

The Heartland Institute is a 32-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.

Article Tags
Taxes Government Spending
Brad Rodu is a senior fellow of The Heartland Institute and holds the Endowed Chair in Tobacco Harm Reduction Research at the University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center.
Matthew Glans joined the staff of The Heartland Institute in November 2007 as legislative specialist for insurance and finance.
Work from Heartland Institute staff. @@heartlandinst
Jesse Hathaway is a policy advisor for budget and tax issues at The Heartland Institute. @JesseinOH