Sunday, October 20, 2019

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Pressure mounts on politicians, FDA to react to vaping-related illnesses, deaths


According to an article on the Forbes website, vaping will impact two sectors of the financial markets the most: Big Tobacco and marijuana stocks.

The Trump administration recently announced it would ban the sale of non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes after the deaths of close to a dozen people allegedly related to vaping. The mysterious vaping-related illnesses have numbered in the hundreds, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the White House have been facing mounting pressure to curb the epidemic.

The Forbes story pointed out that youth vaping has been on the rise,   

Tom Giovanetti is the president of the Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI), a public policy research organization based in Dallas. Giovanetti writes for IPI and other publications on a wide variety of topics including tax reform, intellectual property, Social Security, communications policy, Internet governance, education reform, the broadband revolution and government spending.


Tom Giovanetti  

"I think the possibility of a broad ban on vaping is pretty good, probably 75 percent, because of the power of public and political hysteria and moral panic," Giovanetti told FDA Reporter. "There is absolutely no justification at this time for a broad ban on vaping, because the evidence suggests that this very, very small number of deaths is attributable to using the devices improperly with unauthorized cartridges containing illegal and unauthorized THC and CBD products.

"The best evidence right now suggests that additives to these cartridges are responsible for the problems," Giovanetti continued. "So the culprits are not Juul or the other major manufacturers — the culprits are the small-time operators who are making these dangerous inserts, and the stores who are selling dangerous products."

Giovanetti said he thinks a broad ban on vaping would harm tobacco stocks and pure-play vaping stocks.

"I think cannabis stocks are already on their way down due to cannabis-market-specific factors like market saturation,’’ he said, adding that the situation is exacerbated because of the current political climate.

"More deaths have occurred from using rental scooters, for instance, than have occurred from vaping. Yet we are encouraging scooters while we’re in a moral panic over vaping,’’ Giovanetti said. "Products like Juul and iQOS have been carefully designed through millions of dollars of research and development and are not only safe but are a tremendous boon to public health because they provide a way for cigarette smokers to avoid dying from lung cancer. There is a reason why the FDA put in an approval pathway for reduced-harm products, and these products meet that approval pathway."

Many thousands of cigarette smokers have gotten off cigarettes by switching to products like Juul and iQOS, Giovanetti said, and it would be a public health tragedy if those products are taken off the market by a hysterical reaction by politicians looking to score votes by showing how much they "care about the children.

"High school kids have always engaged in risky behavior," Giovanetti said. "Vaping is better for them than smoking cigarettes, and if vaping is taken off the market, they’ll go back to cigarettes. Will that be better?"

Organizations in this Story

The Institute for Policy Innovation

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FDA Reporter