By: Angela Garrity
Acting FDA Commissioner, Ned Sharpless, gave his perspective on how the agency is regulating e-cigarettes. He appears to be torn (and confused) in striking a balance between youth use and the value of vaping for adults as an alternative to traditional smoking.
He says, “Any product that can diminish the use of combustible cigarettes substantially has to be considered of enormous potential value.” However also adds the confusing addition of, “Are e-cigarettes that product? Well, given that most e-cigarette users continue to smoke cigarettes, the answer is not clear. “
What data is Sharpless seeing that shows that vapers continue to smoke?
In this recent post titled “CDC Data: Vaping Increased in 2018, Particularly Among Former Smokers”, Dr. Brad Rodu paints a much different picture from the data Sharpless speaks about. Let the numbers speak for themselves.
Sharpless then turns to the direction of youth use stating, “What is clear is the explosion of use and nicotine addiction in children driven by the advent of ENDS, especially the pod-based products such as JUUL. After years of witnessing a steady decline in the use of tobacco products by children and young adults, we are now seeing a rapid resurgence of the use of tobacco products in these populations.”
He believes manufacturers are targeting kids with their marketing and are responsible for the “rapid rise in youth use of these products.”
On the contrary, let’s take another look at Youth Vaping.
Danielle Jones Tweets, "Kids are vaping" is a truth without context. Thankfully, @BradRodu has provided context and I made a visual representation of the data.
You can't approprietely address an issue if you don't fully understand it."
Sharpless continues with, “FDA’s oversight of these products is a top priority for the agency. This ongoing work includes investing in more science to address the unanswered questions about ENDS, developing guidances and regulations, educating industry and the public, and aggressively enforcing the law — all of which have had a wide-ranging impact on the manufacturing, marketing, and selling of ENDS. CTP’s work is constant in its effort to keep these products out of the hands of kids.”
Read the full FDA brief here.