The debate over electronic cigarettes took a crucial step this week when the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the first time approved the sale of three vaping products. The FDA stated in its announcement that the devices’ potential to assist smokers in quitting traditional cigarettes exceeds the risks they pose to children. The judgment covers three Vuse products, allowing the business to sell its vaping equipment as well as two tobacco-flavored cartridges with 4.8 percent nicotine apiece. The FDA has refused to approve millions of other vaping goods in recent months, including eleven of Vuse’s non-tobacco flavored cartridges, claiming that these are more likely to lure young people to start vaping.
“The manufacturer’s data shows that switching to tobacco-flavored products – either completely or with a significant reduction in cigarette consumption – could benefit addicted adult smokers by reducing their exposure to harmful chemicals,” said Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. He went on to warn that the government would “stay alert,” and that if “credible evidence of considerable use by those who had not previously used a tobacco product, including adolescents,” the administration would consider removing its authorisation.
According to the FDA, e-cigarettes expose users to fewer and less hazardous aerosol particles than traditional cigarettes, and that “the potential benefit to smokers who switch totally or considerably reduce their cigarette usage would outweigh the risk to minors.”
The decision has caused heated controversy, with some claiming that allowing vaping items to be sold poses a severe public health danger to young people. According to a new survey, the percentage of high school students who have used e-cigarettes has climbed from 1.5 percent to 27.5 percent between 2011 and 2019, illustrating how young people have reacted to the increased availability of these products.
Recognizing these concerns, the FDA claims that most young people who vape “start with tastes such as fruit, candy, or mint, rather than tobacco flavors,” resulting in its decision to solely allow tobacco varieties. While Vuse will be able to sell its authorized goods in the United States, it will not be able to advertise on television, radio, or digital platforms – a move the FDA hopes will deter young people from taking up vaping.
The fact that R.J. Reynolds, one of the world’s largest tobacco corporations, owns Vuse is also noteworthy, and many critics are concerned about the FDA’s propensity to cave into such a powerful firm over such a difficult topic. Despite these reservations, the government maintains, “Although today’s action enables the sale of tobacco products in the United States, it does not indicate that these products are safe or “FDA certified.” Tobacco products are all hazardous and addicting, and those who do not use them should refrain from doing so.”