In November of 2015, the American Council on Science and Health was called on to testify at the White House on the proposed deeming regulations, making all tobacco products subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act), as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act). This was six years in the making so we dismissed concern about some of the rules, like stronger regulations on cigars and pipes. We recognize that tobacco regulation was being geared toward potential future products like a nasal spray, so we limited our key recommendation to changing the "grandfathered" date for products. The FDA issued its final ruling today and is going to stick with its early date for when products will not have to undergo approval as a new product. In 2009, a 2007 substantial equivalence date was quite reasonable, but by 2015 the popularity of e-cigarettes and other "vaping" devices had really taken off, and some 100,000 products existed. A 2007 date was positively archaic. To put that in broader technology terms, people were still using a Blackberry in 2007. The Samsung Galaxy, arguably the best phone on the market today, didn't even exist. It seemed arbitrary and punitive to effectively ban so may products unless they could survive a daunting regulatory approval process. Obviously, popularity means some regulation is a good thing. New rules will prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to children and will allow the government to regulate the contents of the products for safety -- we can only wish they would do the same thing with supplements and nonsense like homeopathy -- but with a 2007 date, a number of products will sudden become illegal. This may be just regulatory maneuvering because the FDA knows Reps. Tom Cole, R-Okla. and Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., have amended the Fiscal Year 2017 House Agriculture Appropriations bill to move the predicate date until the effective date of the final regulations, which will be summer of 2016. If that does not happen, companies will have to show substantial equivalence of their product, exemption from substantial equivalence, or undergo premarket tobacco product review, the last of which can be quite expensive. E-cigarettes seem to be primarily used for tobacco harm reduction and smoking cessation, so if the market is impacted it could be a real negative for public health, but the free market is quite resilient. We'll have to see how this ends up in final form before making judgments.
FDA Finalizes Ruling on E-Cigarettes
Hank Campbell is an award-winning science writer and bestselling author. He became the second President of the American Council on Science and Health in June of 2015 and prior to that began the 2006 Science 2.0 movement. He has written for USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Wired, and in many more places. He is on the Board of Trustees at Science 2.0 and serves on the Advisory Council of Atlantic Legal Foundation.
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Hank's listing in Wikipedia (BONUS: Deleted by an activist politically partisan attorney who works with the science denial front group known as Sourcewatch! So this is an archive. He also trashed the ACSH entry.)
A few reviews of Science Left Behind:
Wall Street Journal - “usefully revealing how pervasive scientific misinformation is in progressive arguments on organic and genetically modified foods, clean energy, nuclear waste and other matters.”
Scientific American - “...the left's sacred values seem fixated on the environment, leading to an almost religious fervor over the purity and sanctity of air, water and especially food. Try having a conversation with a liberal progressive about GMOs — genetically modified organisms — in which the words “Monsanto” and “profit” are not dropped like syllogistic bombs.”
Forbes - “on many of the most critical issues of our time, the “progressive” perspective is often rooted in out-dated, anti-empirical, junk science paradigms that threaten innovation—and are beginning to unnerve the most scientifically minded thinkers on the left."
Huntington News - "Groundbreaking…If I were teaching journalism, this is a book that I would require my students to read and absorb -- and keep for reference.”
Science Based Medicine - "pure music to the ears of science-based medicine. They agree that the anti-vaccine movement is based on outright lies, they call the Huffington Post a laughingstock of the scientific community for its endorsement of CAM, they call for the NCCAM to be abolished, [and] they explain why presenting data about relative risks rather than absolute risks is misleading."
You can buy his work on Amazon here: