I have been following FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on Twitter and was alarmed at the threat he issued to vapers and the vaping industry in response to recent trends in US adolescent vaping.

I disagree with the FDA’s analysis of what is happening with adolescent vaping and also what should be done about it. So I need to put some flesh on the tweet above and examine some of FDA’s claims in more depth. Please dip to these talking points… it’s a long blog but I hope at least some of it will be illuminating.

  1. Adolescent vaping is not an ‘epidemic’
  2. Vaping is not the same as nicotine addiction
  3. There is more to tobacco addiction than nicotine dependence
  4. Most adolescent vapers are not ‘hooked on vaping’ whatever anecdotes you might hear
  5. Most adolescent vapers are not regular or daily users
  6. Frequent vapers are likely to also be smokers and this may be positive for public health
  7. Not all vaping is with nicotine
  8. Marijuana use may be inflating the vaping numbers
  9. Nicotine is not “uniquely harmful” to the young developing brain
  10. Vaping is a low priority risk behaviour among adolescents
  11. E-liquid flavours may be beneficial to public health and adolescents
  12. The flawed and disturbing ethics of trading-off youth vaping and adult smoking
  13. It is not possible or useful to separate the welfare of adults and adolescents
  14. We do need a mature debate about nicotine, but FDA won’t have one
  15. FDA is the enemy of innovation
  16. “It’s the smoke, stupid” (and we are winning)
  17. A significant ‘gateway effect’ from vaping to smoking is not established and not likely (new)

Read full article here.

Clive Bates – The counterfactual – January 23, 2019.

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