Last updated on April 12th, 2020
Slick Promotional Scare Tactics About Nicotine Set a Precedent for Upcoming FDA E-Cigarette Regulations
-E-Cigarette News Editorial
Promotion is a powerful advertising tool. I know because I’ve been in the industry for over 25 years. Unfortunately, advertising and promotion can easily direct a heard of listeners into agreement by using clever wording and repetition. Such is the case with the FDA's staunch agenda to demonize nicotine in tobacco and vaping products.
The scheme is part of the anti-ecigarette campaign. Rather than name the long list of agencies and corporations perpetrating this movement, I’ll stick to commenting on my interpretation of the main objectives of this crusade which, upon examination, goes beyond protecting the public from the supposed evils addiction.
Imminent FDA Regulations
The FDA is under pressure to regulate electronic cigarettes. As a government agency, its members are subject to the coercive forces of political lobbyist, but they also gain direction from public sentiment worldwide.
In February 2014 the European Parliament passed a Tobacco Directive to the EU that would regulate the nicotine concentration in electronic cigarette e-liquids along with bottle and cartridge sizes. Under the guise of public safety, nicotine concentration will not exceed 20 mg/ml. E-liquid bottles will be no larger 10ml.
This ruling has been criticized by prominent scientists, researchers and health organizations as being a clear case of political “overregulation”. They believe the resolutions are unduly strict, are based on unfounded fears rather than scientific evidence and are counter-productive to Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) practices.
According to Dr. Konstantin Farsalinos, one of the most respected experts on nicotine, a pack a day smoker needs at least 24mg/ml to keep them away from cigarettes. What’s more, new scientific findings on the dangers nicotine indicate the drug is nowhere near as harmful as was once suspected.
All news from Europe aside, the FDA must submit its own regulatory terms. I suspect a fair amount of friction would arise from both overseas and at home if they were to impose less stringent regulations than those dictated by the EU.
2017 FDA War on Nicotine Addiction Escalates
In July, 2017 the FDA announced a new directive. Although final ecig regulations were extended to 2022 (and vape companies can continue to sell current and new products without review), the war on nicotine addiction was escalated. Both vaping companies and tobacco companies will feel the burn. (pun intended).
The FDA made the following statements. (some are scientifically valid; other are not):
- The most dangerous form of nicotine comes from combustable products, (cigarettes, cigars, ect.) (scientifically valid)
- While e-cigarettes are indeed a safer way to get your nicotine fix, you can buy flavored e-liquids. (true)
- Flavored e-liquids are attracting kids and they are becoming addicted to e-cigarettes. (not scientifically proven).
- Kids who vape will switch to regular cigarettes. (not scientifically proven).
Advertising and promotion are most powerful when the public receives a listening before the product enters market. It works the same way with government policy updates. I find it curious that in March 2014, just weeks before the FDA is to release e-cigarette regulations, the news media begins a virulent attack on e-cigarette liquids with stories emerging from the New York Times down to every local podunk TV news report.
The overwhelming number of news articles and reports that include sensational, misleading headlines and scant details about the dangers of nicotine in e-cigarettes will continue.
It’s also likely that overregulation will to lead to the emergence of an e-liquid black market.
One can only hope that the next wave of warnings on how to save our children from nicotine addiction will attack irresponsible parents rather than life-saving products.