Hard on the heels of the recently-released deeming regulations proposed by the FDA, a panel of the U.S. Senate s HELP committee (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) will meet tomorrow (May 15th), the purported aim of which is to discuss the proposed regulations and possibly others as well.
Given the makeup of the committee chaired by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) it seems likely that the tone of the hearing will be antagonistic to the concept of harm reduction through reduced-risk nicotine products such as e-cigs, parroting the overall messages of the Federal public health agencies. It can be reasonably inferred that Chairman Harkin s objectivity might be in question, given these two facts: Harkin and 10 other Democratic senators released a report last month that charged e-cigarette manufacturers with targeting young people in their ad campaigns; and the only panelists scheduled to present their comments in testimony to the committee are FDA tobacco chief Mitch Zeller, and the CDC s Tim McAfee, whose anti-e-cigarette rantings are plastered all over the official websites of the agency. This, despite the submission of ACSH s own position statement to the committee (we were told in no uncertain terms that we would not be invited to attend, as the panel was closed which in turn, reminded us of Monday s New York State Health Committee hearing, where Sen. Hannon also declined to hear science-based comments).
Perhaps to get some perspective on the real facts (as opposed to the dogma and drivel emanating from the CDC, FDA, and various politicians and agenda-driven ideologues posing as scientists, such as Stan Glantz), one of the Senators might read ACSH s op-eds as appearing in AEI s The American (New FDA E-cigarette Regulations: Killing an Industry, Killing Smokers) or The Buffalo News (The rush to regulate e-cigarettes will mean death for many smokers), among other sources.