Thursday, January 11, 2024

FDA Creates, Decries Illegal E-Cigarette Tsunami


An article in the LA Times January 2nd bemoaned the “thousands of new flavored products…pouring into the country from China.”  It claimed, “Nearly all the new products are disposable e-cigarettes, according to sales data gathered from gas stations, convenience stores and other shops. The products generated $3.2 billion in the first 11 months of this [sic] year.”

The response from Brian King, director of the FDA Center for Tobacco Products, was naïve: “Those committing illegal acts don’t advertise their crimes, and those trying to import illegal tobacco products into the United States are no different.  The FDA and our federal partners are using tools, like import alerts, to stop these illegal tobacco products at the border and to deter countless others.” (emphasis added)

Dr. King ignores history.  A contemporary account of the first day of Prohibition in the U.S., January 17, 1920, noted, “Canadian liquor in quantities from one gallon to a truckload is being hidden in the northern woods and distributed by automobile, sled and iceboat, on snowshoes and skis.”

Neither Dr. King nor his FDA colleagues are going to stop the illegal vape tsunami.  When the FDA issued a toothless warning letter last May to the Chinese maker of Esco Bars e-cigarettes, it failed to note that the product’s name is a salute to one of history’s most successful illegal importers – Pablo Escobar. 

My readers will recognize another tobacco prohibitionist in the LA Times article -- Stanford University’s Bonnie Halpern-Felsher.  I’ve criticized her previous research, but here she comes across as a realist: “FDA whacks one product and then the manufacturers get around it and the kids get around it.  It’s too easy to change your product a little bit and just relaunch it.”

Halpern-Felsher wants all vapes banned… for the children, foreseeing a vaping apocalypse: “If we continue down this path that we’re on, we’re just going to have new and continuing generations of young people addicted to nicotine.”

Yes, regardless of what the FDA or anyone else does, some teens and young adults will become addicted to nicotine.  But as shown in the chart below, few will die from nicotine over the next 30 years, as almost none of these vaping youth smoke.  



No comments: