The American Vaping Association, anadvocate for the benefits of vaping products, such as electronic cigarettes, is calling on FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg to retract and apologize for false and slanderous comments she made in an interview published yesterday by Medscape.
“These products are flavored. You can buy mint Oreo-flavored e-cigarettes and other flavors that are clearly targeted to attract children,” said Hamburg.
Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, quit smoking over four years with a watermelon-flavored e-cigarette. Conley slammed the false allegations as being harmful to public health, saying:
“Does the FDA Commissioner have any concern for the health and well-being of America’s 40 million adult smokers? If so, she should stop twisting the facts in an effort to justify her agency’s effort to overreach on its regulatory power and block this innovative and disruptive technology that stands to put Big Tobacco out of business in the next 20 years,” he said.
“Newsflash to Dr. Hamburg and others at the FDA: Adults like flavors. Indeed, a major published study that surveyed nearly 5,000 adult e-cigarette users—the vast majority of whom reporting quitting smoking with vaping—found that fruits and sweets were the most widely used flavors,” he said.
“The FDA posed numerous questions regarding flavors to those making public comment on the agency’s proposed e-cigarette regulations. It appears that any time spent answering those questions was wasted, as the top official at the FDA has already decided that flavors need to be eliminated,” he added.
“Thousands of small businesses across the United States sell flavored vaping products to adult smokers and ex-smokers. These businesses have no connections to Big Tobacco, and yet Dr. Hamburg somehow thinks it is appropriate to outright accuse these companies of marketing their products to children,” Conely went on.
“FDA regulation of e-cigarettes as ‘tobacco products’ is not needed to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of youth. Forty-one states have enacted common sense bans on the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. We expect that number will reach fifty in 2015. Instead of protecting youth, the FDA’s proposed rules would instead protect Big Tobacco from competition by removing over 99% of e-cigarette products from the market. Dr. Hamburg should immediately retract her statement and apologize to the thousands of small business owners that she falsely accused of marketing to children,” he concluded.