I just wanted to remind everyone that the FDA’s formal public comment register on flavors closes in 11 days (6/19). If you still haven’t done this, I urge you to take 5 minutes out of your day to submit your comments. Basically, the FDA is taking a deeper look into the role of flavors in tobacco and vapor products. While we fully understand the importance of flavors, many people outside of this community are ignorant on the subject. This is our chance to give them some perspective.
Flavors are important…and that’s a significant understatement. Flavors (and the variety of flavors) are one of the most effective tools this industry has when it comes to helping smokers transition from cigarettes (and staying off them). If a nationwide flavor ban ever does occur, millions of smokers will probably never make that transition. If tobacco was the only flavor on the market 4 years ago, I sure as hell wouldn’t be writing this today. I’d still be a smoker, convinced that vaping was just another dead end. It was NOT the hardware options or even the benefits of vaping that won me over. It was a simple Hot Cinnamon Candy flavor. When I tried it for the first time, my eyes lit up and I thought to myself, “Wow…this might actually work!” I know a lot of you have had similar experiences, which is why I’m hoping you’ll take a few minutes to share them.
Please use THIS LINK to submit a formal comment, explaining why flavors (and the variety of flavors) were important to you as an adult making the switch from cigarettes to vaping. Also, if flavors have played a role in keeping you from going back to smoking, definitely mention that too. Please be polite and respectful and try to use proper grammar, we just want to be taken seriously here =) Comments must be submitted by June 19, 2018. Please feel free to share this post, the links, and/or Nick’s video wherever you see fit. Every voice matters. Thanks for doing your part! ~Jeremy
Key points from the press release:
But when it comes to flavors in non-combustible products like electronic nicotine delivery systems or e-cigarettes we recognize the issue involves additional considerations. Here, it’s possible for flavors to do both harm and good. The troubling reality is that e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among middle and high school students, and flavors are identified as one of the top three reasons for use. Given these findings, we need to be wary of the role flavors play in attracting youth to initiate on any tobacco product that could lead to regular use – something we clearly want to avoid. No child should use any tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. At the same time, we’re aware that certain flavors may help currently addicted adult smokers switch to potentially less harmful forms of nicotine-containing tobacco products.
With all this in mind, given our new policy framework and more recent evolutions in the tobacco marketplace, we believe it’s important that we re-examine the issue of flavors as we work to best protect public health and significantly reduce tobacco-related disease and death. We must give serious consideration to the ways in which we might further address flavors in combustible tobacco products like menthol in cigarettes and the fruit and candy-flavored little cigars and cigarillos. We must also consider how best to address flavors in non-combustible products like e-cigarettes – given both their clear appeal to youth but also the potential role certain flavors may play in helping some adult smokers transition to potentially less harmful tobacco products.
I’ve talked to ex-smokers, who’ve told me that they quit cigarettes altogether and that they now vape. And they’ve also told me it was the flavors that helped them make that transition off combustible cigarettes. Now I know anecdotes aren’t the same as data. And the ANPRM specifically seeks data on this issue. But these personal stories are important to me as we shape our overall approach to smoking cessation. And it’s important to me that we uphold the FDA’s responsibility to consider all sides and take into account, among other things, the risks and benefits to the population as a whole.
–FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.
[Read the Full Press Release HERE]