Troutman Sanders tobacco team partner Bryan Haynes was quoted in a July 7th Reuters article titled “INSIGHT – As millions vape, e-cigarette researchers count puffs, scour Facebook.”
In the face of the rapid expansion of the e-cigarette market, and their own impending regulations, the FDA wants solid answers regarding the health impact of e-cigarettes and they want those answers “yesterday”. Forty-eight different FDA-backed studies are currently running, ranging from counting the puffs taken by e-cigarette smokers to measuring a minor’s ability to be influenced by marketing of the products. In total, the FDA is spending $270 million dollars on e-cigarette research, much of which won’t return solid results until 2018 – presumably long after the currently-pending regulations go into effect, creating a “vacuum” between science and regulation. This gap has the industry understandably agitated, with many calling for a hold on regulation until science can bring the facts to bear.
“There shouldn’t be regulations akin to those for cigarettes without evidence of similar health impact, especially since the preliminary evidence is positive for the industry,” said Haynes.
Questions still unanswered about the young product, which has been marketed only since 2007, are important ones such as what compounds are created by the e-liquid vapor, flavoring and display’s effect on youth use of e-cigarettes, and whether the product contributes overall to the numbers of smokers, or instead functions more as a smoking cessation aid.
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