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FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products Must Reverse Course to Quickly Reduce Smoking Harms

Federal Agency has Lost its Way on Tobacco Harm Reduction

At the Food and Drug Law Institute’s Tobacco & Nicotine Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. this week, Vapor Technology Association (VTA) Executive Director, Tony Abboud presented his reactions to a keynote speech delivered by Center for Tobacco Product’s (CTP) Director Brian King and particpated on a panel examining CTP’s current trajectory on tobacco and nicotine regulation.

Abboud warned that CTP is implementing a de facto ban on vaping and explained how CTP is actively undermining its mission to end smoking in three critical ways:

  1. CTP remains focused on youth vaping while marginalizing adult smokers looking for alternatives to quit cigarettes;
  2. CTP has no plans to educate consumers on the risks and benefits of smoking vs. vaping;
  3. CTP is on a path to eliminate consumer access to vapes as a tobacco harm reduction or smoking cessation option.

Despite the robust body of evidence with high scientific certainty that e-cigarettes are more effective at smoking cessation than CTP’s preferred traditional nicotine replacement therapies, CTP has been reluctant, if not downright refused, to embrace the science about vaping and tobacco harm reduction. As CTP prepares to release their strategic plan, Abboud demanded that the agency make harm reduction the “foundation of its strategic plan” and that it speak “immediately, loudly, and repeatedly,” as follows:

  • State unequivocally that tobacco harm reduction is its north star.
  • Fully acknowledge that vaping is dramatically safer than smoking. 
  • State that vaping and MON products are critical tools for THR & cessation.
  • Encourage smokers to use/try smoke-free tobacco if they can’t quit.
  • Authorize a wide-variety of smoke-free products, including flavored ENDS products which have been proven to help adults transition off cigarettes.

Abboud also shared the statistics regarding CTP authorization of 900 new cigarettes while authorizing only 8 vaping devices. Without a clear and unambiguous debunking of misinformation and an acknowledgment of the true state of the science, and without the rapid authorization of less harmful vaping products, CTP will be fully implementing it already de facto ban on vaping in the U.S. we are headed toward mass-market exit of vaping products.  You can watch VTA’s Executive Director’s presentation and download the slides below.

Also Read Unraveling FDA Decisions: A Threat to Public Health or Playing Favorites?

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