The role of electronic cigarettes within US regulatory strategy
13:20 - 13:35
Tobacco Control, Industry & Regulation
In the United States, in the absence of health claims, electronic cigarettes are regulated by the Center for Tobacco Products at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA-CTP). FDA-CTP has announced a comprehensive plan for tobacco and nicotine regulation that involves reducing the permissible nicotine content in cigarettes to minimally addictive levels, while allowing regulated non-combustible nicotine products to remain on the market. This is the direction we are heading towards. While the major cigarette companies will oppose implementation of this strategy through litigation for many years, they are already fully aware that there is already an accelerating decline in US cigarette sales and a mirror-image increase in e-cig sales. In recent years the evidence-base demonstrating that the very low nicotine cigarette strategy is feasible has been strengthening. As this progresses there will come a tipping point at which it will no longer be necessary for some of the major cigarette companies to oppose reduced nicotine regulation for cigarettes. Instead their more sensible option will be to accept the demise of addictive cigarettes and focus on non-burned products in their business model. Most of the major cigarette companies are already moving in that direction, developing non-smoked products and buying other companies that own non-smoked products. It remains critical for FDA to enhance and enforce regulations to minimize all tobacco sales to youth and for companies themselves to not indulge in reckless marketing to young people. I see the move to tamper-proof closed systems and incrementally lower toxicant emitting but addictive nicotine delivery products as inevitable. Concerns about youth e-cig use are well founded, but the main concern of a gateway to cigarettes will not be an option once nicotine content in cigarettes is minimized.
- Prof Jonathan Foulds Professor of Public Health Sciences and Psychiatry - Penn State Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science, Cancer Institute
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