As more people become ill from using vaping products, government authorities are beginning to take a hard look at e-cigarettes.
More than 500 people have been reported to experience serious illnesses caused by vaping – including some deaths, prompting the FDA to announce that it’s opening a criminal investigation into the products in conjunction with the CDC. In some states, flavored products have been banned; in Massachusetts, all online and in-person sales of any vaping products are now illegal.
Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association (AVA), says the approach taken by many state governments, and the FDA, are missing the real issues causing the problem.
“The FDA should be involved in terms of their testing facilities, in cooperation with the CDC," Conley told FDA Reporter. "But this is an illegal drug problem. There is no indication the FDA is preparing to knock down the doors of any registered nicotine e-liquid manufacturer.”
He said investigations looking into the illnesses are discovering that illegal manufacturers and consumers are using substances that aren’t legal or are unsafe, and are then selling them on the black market. Those are the products that are making people sick, Conley said, calling it an illegal drug problem.
“We know drug dealers always obey state, local and federal laws,” Conley jested. “All these governors are doing is overstepping their authority and in the process putting out of business hundreds of thousands of small businesses that have age-restricted locations and specialize in getting adult smokers switched over to a far less hazardous alternative.”
The CDC says twelve vaping-related deaths have been confirmed across the country. Cases of death have been reported in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri and Oregon.
Nationwide, more than 530 people have reported vaping-related illnesses. So far, federal investigators have not discovered a particular e-cigarette or vaping product, substance or additive linked to the cases of illness.