FDA Concedes: Electronic Cigarettes Become Tobacco Products in US

I’ve just had a press release sent by Bill Godshall which announces that the FDA have decided not to fight the classification of electronic cigarette as tobacco products in court any longer.

In case you have missed the case, the FDA wanted electronic cigarettes classified as drug products (which would mean they would have effectively been banned for several years while testing proceeded) but were overuled by the courts.

Bill sees this as good news, but what does worry me is that the FDA may now try to strangle electronic cigarettes with regulation. This, at the least, would mean smaller companies being wiped out while the larger companies took a more dominant position.

We can also expect a continued campaign against the electronic cigarette and other (non-pharm) alternatives to lethal tobacco cigarettes – Bill says in the release:

“The change is also likely to decimate drug industry sales of nicotine gums, lozenges and patches.”

And as I have often catalogued on this site, the drug industry bank rolls the anti-smokers who have campaigned so bitterly against the device.

I’ve pasted Bill’s press release below – I apologise for the absence of a link link but the release has been sent to me by email.

For immediate release:
contact: Bill Godshall 412-351-5880

E-cigarettes, e-liquid and other nicotine containing products are now tobacco products

Today’s announcement by the FDA to not appeal Judge Richard Leon’s ruling in NJOY v FDA to the US Supreme Court means that e-cigarettes, e-liquid, nicotine gums, lozenges, patches, skin creams and nasal sprays are now unregulate tobacco products according to federal law (as long as no therapeutic claim is made by the manufacturer/importer).

These nicotine products now join cigars and pipe tobacco as unregulated tobacco products under the Family Smoking Prevention Tobacco Control Act. Currently regulated tobacco products include cigarettes, roll-your-own and smokeless tobacco.

Bill Godshall, executive director of Smokefree Pennsylvania, welcomes this sea change in the federal legal definintion and regulation of tobacco/nicotine products, stating: “Smokers will have greater access to many different less expensive smokefree alternatives, and manufacturers can now truthfully market these new smokefree tobacco products to smokers as far less hazardous alternatives to cigarettes.”

Sales of e-cigarettes are likely to continue skyrocketing with this decision, and many more stores will begin selling them.
There is no evidence that e-cigarettes have harmed any of the estimated million smokers who have switched in the past several years. “This decision will boost e-cigarette sales at the expense of tobacco cigarettes, and many more smokers will switch,” said Godshall.

The change is also likely to decimate drug industry sales of nicotine gums, lozenges and patches. “Not many smokers will pay $.75 for a nicotine lozenge if they can buy a virtually identical tobacco lozenge for $.20,” added Godshall.

The FDA has indicated that it plans to propose regulations for these smokefree nicotine alternatives as tobacco products.


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