Letters: How should e-cigarettes be regulated?

Johnson City Press • Nov 25, 2018 at 6:00 AM

We asked with Monday’s Question of the Week how you think e-cigarettes should be regulated. Here is a response from a reader and vape store owner.

Specialty stores are safer

The vaping industry should be regulated by restricting youth access and ensuring manufacturing standards for quality control. Vaping products have been shown to reduce harm from smoking by over 95 percent by the Royal College of Physicians report “Nicotine without smoke: Tobacco harm reduction.”

Europe and the UK have been making a huge push toward vapor products because of studies showing harm reduction and effective smoking cessation.

Since September, the FDA has sent over 1,000 warning letters to retail outlets for not properly following ID laws. The overwhelming majority of those 1,000 letters went to non “age-restricted” outlets, like gas stations and convenience stores. The FDA identified a weak spot in the market that is obviously being exploited by underage individuals to obtain vaping products.

What many missed in the FDA’s statement was that access to flavored vaping products is essential for those looking to transition from smoking and Dr. Gottlieb is showing preference to this method of harm reduction. This is why age-restricted vape shops will and should be exempted with this new policy.

The Tobacco Control Act, which vaping falls under, was established to allow new harm-reducing products to be brought into the market, not to be a law that protects Big Tobacco companies by placing burdensome regulations on these new innovative products, which again reduce harm.

Many fail to realize that if the vaping industry ultimately falls due to opposition from Big Tobacco, Big Pharmaceutical and over-regulation; then the market goes back to having only one option for adults and teens — tobacco cigarettes. Over-regulation protects Big Tobacco and Big Pharmaceutical companies, which is why tobacco stocks soared upon hearing this announcement.

A product that reduces harm from smoking should be protected and preferred over cigarettes, especially when new regulations are being considered.


Listen to the young people

I wanted to thank Mr. Paykamian for his recent article regarding the concerns of the youth about climate change.

It does make sense that young people would be concerned as it is their future that is at stake. The IPCC report on the urgency of action on climate change to prevent severe catastrophic climate disruption by limiting global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees would "require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society."

The younger generation are the ones that will be dealing with the consequences of our lack of action now. We have a moral obligation to them to do what we can to help reduce our carbon footprint.

However, there are solutions such as the Citizens' Climate Lobby proposal for a carbon fee and dividend. This would be a best first step to rapidly reduce our output of greenhouse gases.

Brandon mentioned in his article that the students felt that "current proposals and incremental ‘market-based’ solutions" would be "too little, too late." The Citizens' Climate Lobby proposal is projected to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 52 percent below 1990 levels within 20 years while growing the economy and saving lives.

We need to call on our Rep. Phil Roe, Sens Lamar Alexander and newly elected Marsha Blackburn to take action on climate by endorsing the Citizens' Climate Lobby proposal before it becomes little and too late.


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