Are vapes considered tobacco products? A letter dated May 19th, 2017, was just released showing that nearly a dozen United States Senators have come together to ask President Trump’s new Food and Drug Administration commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, to stand by the deeming laws that were passed last year.
These laws call for vapor devices and e-liquids to be treated as tobacco products.
The Deeming Regulations
The essential issue behind the FDA deeming laws is whether or not the organization has the right to regulate e-cigarettes and other products under their Tobacco control legislation.
Through 2016, the Obama administration decided that the FDA did indeed have this right. By placing e-cigarette products in the same category as traditional tobacco products, e-liquids and devices became subject to extreme vetting and documentation requirements which threatened to bring the entire vapor industry to a standstill.
Vapor advocates spoke out saying that if the FDA is going to have oversight of the vapor industry the least they should do is create a new set of laws that are specifically catered toward the unique properties of vaporizers and e-liquids.
Simply grouping all of these products in with traditional tobacco products does not serve the greater public interest because it misses the very important fact that they are inherently different.
A New Leader
Under President Trump, Dr. Scott Gottlieb became the new Commissioner of the FDA in May 2017. In an effort to slow down Obama-era regulations that were rolled out just before Trump’s election, Dr. Gottlieb announced that there would be a stay of the new FDA deeming rules for a period of three months as he further reviewed the implications of the ruling. This gave vapers some hope that they could reason with the FDA for more favorable rules.
Now, 11 Senators have banded together to write a letter to Gottlieb asking that he uphold the original decision on vapor products. The letter argues that there has been insufficient evidence brought forth to support putting the ruling on hold and that it should go into effect immediately. The main reasoning used in the letter is the protection of youth from tobacco products.
To this point, Dr. Gottlieb has not responded directly to the letter and vapor advocates are hopeful that the 90-day stay will remain in place while he continues to research the matter.