FDA funds and approves cigarettes

Reprinted from Internal sources

With the way news is spread these days, it’s easy to miss the drama unfolding in the tobacco world. During this year, the Food and Drug Administration announced a plan reduce nicotine in all cigarettes, right ban all menthol cigarettes and turned down JUUL’s application to sell its products only to turn around and suspend this ban because the company has appealed this decision. However, all this is overshadowed by the fact that US health agencies funded research trials of two very low nicotine (VLN) cigarette products, one of which is menthol, which subsequently received FDA approval as reduced risk products.

Surprisingly, the FDA and other agencies excited $100 million from US taxpayers develop evidence on the safety and efficacy of incendiary cigarettes. Worse, these agencies then used it insufficient evidence to justify their approval as a lower risk, mandate labels with the marketing claim “Helps you smoke less” on cigarette packaging.

This is the wrong path to a smoke-free United States.

But the FDA doesn’t seem to be concerned. Instead, it seems that people will quit smoking after using VLN cigarettes because the reduced nicotine content will reduce their addiction. In fact, the VLN is most likely exacerbate risk of misperception among consumers. Nicotine isn’t the biggest problem; It is the burning of burning tobacco that is most harmful to health. In other words, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the combustible cigarettes it helped develop. refusal more than 99 percent of steam products did not come from the market.

Combined with efforts to reduce nicotine in all cigarettes, this is tantamount to a complete ban, as most brands will be removed from the market for non-compliance. But FDA-approved VLN brands will remain. The type of political machinations indicates anticompetitive behavior when the government tries to pick winners and losers.

History has repeatedly shown us that prohibition never works – whether for alcohol, opioids or flavored vapes. In addition, an FDA-funded study to understand the acceptability of VLNs. shown that the immediate reduction in nicotine levels resulted in more pronounced withdrawal symptoms and increased the likelihood that smokers might seek alternative sources.

Since the advent of the first commercially successful electronic cigarettes came out, they have evolved and increased dramatically. By 2014 British Medical Journal documented Approximately 460 different brands of e-cigarettes that deliver nicotine without the harmful effects of smoking. Researchers have confirmed that electronic cigarettes exist on risk continuum, comparing them to nicotine patches used for smoking cessation. Because e-cigarettes mimic smoking rituals, they have been proven to be a practical means of smoking cessation for adult smokers. Even the Centers for Disease Control states that “more frequent e-cigarette use is associated with greater smoking cessation than less frequent use”. A reasonable approach to reducing adult smoking would be to increase the availability of these products.

The Food and Drug Administration should recognize this evidence in order to make the United States smoke-free. This could start with updating the national tobacco control system. strategy — one that was posted over ten years ago and doesn’t even mention vaping. It must also update the FDA’s Comprehensive Tobacco and Nicotine Regulatory Plan. Created in 2017, it includes many strategies to reduce youth drug use, address racial justice issues, and eliminate smoking. However, as in the National Tobacco Control Strategy, e-cigarettes are not considered a smoking cessation tool. The FDA could also learn from comprehensive, evidence-based tobacco control strategies in other countries like them. United Kingdom or New Zealandwho have codified what a smoke-free society means to their populations.

It is important to remember that there is no safe tobacco product. Cigarette smokers are encouraged to use alternatives such as reduced-risk nicotine products (such as e-cigarettes) as they have become essential to help adult smokers wean themselves off deadly combustibles. Banning vaping while increasing the use of low-nicotine combustible cigarettes is as counterproductive as it is political. It shouldn’t be.

Mazen Saleh

Mazen Saleh is the Policy Director of the Comprehensive Harm Reduction Program at the R Street Institute.

Mazen holds a BA from Georgetown University and an MA in Global Health from University College London.

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