Regulatory Initiatives

Regulatory Initiatives

We support the reasonable regulation of vaping products.

Regulatory Initiatives

We proactively support the reasonable regulation of electronic cigarettes and other vaping products that are science-based, fit-for-purpose, and reflect the electronic cigarette’s place on the harm reduction continuum of nicotine-containing products. Whether alone or in conjunction with the Vapor Technology Association, we relentlessly engage in relevant regulatory initiatives and actively communicate vaping product issues to stakeholders.

International E-Cigarette Regulations

Professor John Britton, Director of the UK Centre on Tobacco and Alcohol Studies and heads the Royal College of Physicians Tobacco Advisory Group:

“Nicotine itself is not a particularly hazardous drug; it’s something on a par with the effects you get from caffeine. If all the smokers in Britain stopped smoking cigarettes and started smoking e-cigarettes, we would save five million deaths in people who are alive today. It’s a massive potential public health prize.”  (BBC Feb 2013)

Undoubtedly, with respect to conventional cigarettes, responsibly manufactured vaping products are at the opposite end of the risk continuum. There are multitudes of regulatory initiatives worldwide surrounding various nicotine-containing products. Some initiatives take an unsubstantiated precautionary approach. This happens, among other reasons, because there is still widespread misunderstanding about nicotine when delivered through means outside conventional tobacco products. It is our duty as industry leaders to partake in the regulatory dialogue and provide direction for research in support of regulatory initiatives.

Nicotine Regulatory Policy

Mitch Zeller, Director of the Center for Tobacco Products, Food and Drug Administration (November 6, 2013 interview with New Public Health):

“… if, at the end of the day, people are smoking for the nicotine, but dying from the tar, then there’s an opportunity for FDA to come up with what I’ve been calling a comprehensive nicotine regulatory policy that is agency-wide and that is keyed to something that we call the continuum of risk: that there are different nicotine containing and nicotine delivering products that pose different levels of risk to the individual.

… if there is a continuum of risk and there are less harmful ways to get nicotine, and FDA is in the business of regulating virtually all of those products, then I think there’s an extraordinary public health opportunity for the agency to embrace some of these principles and to figure out how to incorporate it into regulatory policies.”

 

In our view, governments and the industry as a whole must partner in candid, transparent and complete communication. We may vigorously support some regulatory initiatives and disagree with others, but we will always be open to cross-disciplinary collaboration to achieve sound, enforceable, and consumer- and innovation-friendly regulations.

The Public Health England Report on Electronic Cigarettes 2015 issued a very powerful message:

“Smoking kills, and millions of smokers alive today will die prematurely from their smoking unless they quit. This burden falls predominantly on the most disadvantaged in society. Preventing this death and disability requires measures that help as many of today’s smokers to quit as possible. The option of switching to electronic cigarettes as an alternative and much safer source of nicotine, as a personal lifestyle choice rather than medical service, has enormous potential to reach smokers currently refractory to existing approaches. The emergence of electronic cigarettes and the likely arrival of more effective nicotine-containing devices currently in development provides a radical alternative to tobacco, and evidence to date suggests that smokers are willing to use these products in substantial numbers. Electronic cigarettes, and other nicotine devices, therefore, offer vast potential health benefits, but maximizing those benefits while minimizing harms and risks to society requires appropriate regulation, careful monitoring, and risk management. However, the opportunity to harness this potential into public health policy, complementing existing comprehensive tobacco control policies, should not be missed.”

New Regulations

In the United States, the Food and Drug administration published its deeming rule on May 10, 2016, a regulation aimed at bringing vaping products under the umbrella of the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

In Europe, EU member states had until May 20, 2016 to adopt national legislation implementing the revised Tobacco Products Directive.

Other countries have taken different approaches to vaping product regulations. A majority of countries do not have written laws addressing vaping products. The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control 2016 Conference of Parties (COP) in India will likely resume discussions on electronic cigarettes and e-liquids, which may result in future regulatory developments worldwide.

We believe society, consumers, and public health officials have an opportunity to leverage attitudes towards e-cigarettes and other vaping products. A forward-thinking harm-reduction crusade will change the course of negative effects caused by smoking and benefit the global population.