FDA Rebuffs Legal Challenge, Aims To Regulate Nicotine Free Products
The Food and Drug Administration, the body which regulates e-cigarettes and tobacco in the United States, has responded to a legal challenge emphatically by confirming that all products which “present significant risks to the public” will be subjected to their “deeming” regulations, including nicotine-free e-liquid. An American e-liquid manufacturer launched a federal lawsuit on May 10 against the FDA for their controversial e-cig regulations, which have also attracted criticism from a US Senator. The company argued that the FDA’s regulations would subject e-cigs to the scrupulous federal review that tobacco products face, which is likely to wipe out 99% of the e-cig industry. Since agreeing to regulate e-cigs like regular tobacco at the beginning of May, the FDA has stubbornly played down factual evidence and e-cigs are 95% safer and have ignored advice from the Royal College of Physicians to give e-cigs to smokers looking to quit. The FDA said that there is “ample” evidence to validate their claims that even nicotine-less e-liquid has the capacity to harm the public. “Although the FDA recognized that completely switching to e-cigarettes may reduce the risk of tobacco-related disease for individuals currently smoking conventional cigarettes, it found that e-cigarettes still pose a number of significant health and safety risks,” the FDA said in its response. The FDA added that the e-liquid manufacturer in question does not disclose its ingredients for its e-liquids and believe what their customers are inhaling is unknown. They believe that as e-liquids are used widely in refillable devices, there is no evidence that nicotine-free e-liquid is actually free of nicotine. “The only nicotine-free e-liquids that the rule brings under the FDA’s regulatory authority are those that are made or derived from a tobacco product, or that otherwise meet the definition of a ‘component’ or ‘part.” Despite all of the legal challenges and controversy, the FDA's changes have taken affect in the USA, with dire consequences for the e-cig industry.