Researchers Say FDA Has Fallen Down on E-Cigarette Testing


Vaping products should be studied to see if they can get smokers to quit, some scientists and doctors say

The Food and Drug Administration is coming under attack for not prioritizing study of whether vaping products may well be an important way to reduce deaths from traditional smoking, even as more state and local governments imposed restrictions on flavored e-cigarettes this week.

More than 480,000 Americans die each year from causes related to cigarette smoking. Some leading academic researchers believe e-cigarettes may be an effective and safer alternative. Those scientists and doctors say e-cigarettes should be tested as medical products that can get smokers to quit, since they dispatch nicotine into the bloodstream.

“It’s essential that we figure out whether e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking,” said Kurt Ribisl, chairman of health behavior at the University of North Carolina’s school of global public health.

In response to nationwide outbreak in vaping-related illnesses, some states are taking matters into their own hands.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law on Wednesday the nation’s toughest prohibition on flavored tobacco, including a ban on flavored vaping products and menthol cigarettes. The new restrictions will put Massachusetts at the forefront of a national crackdown on flavored tobacco in an effort to stop young people from developing tobacco habits.

On Tuesday, New York City approved a ban on the sale of nearly all flavored e-cigarettes, joining dozens of other cities across the country that have imposed restrictions.

At the federal level, White House support for a ban on sweet and fruity e-cigarettes appeared to be softening after President Trump last week said a prohibition could have dangerous consequences.

Read full article here.

Thomas M. Burton – Wall Street Journal – November 27, 2019.

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