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Letter: Federal Action Needed – Let’s Protect Public Health

According to the centers for disease control, 480,000 Americans die each year from smoking. Traditional quit aids like gum and patch only work for 4% of the population; cold turkey is slightly better at 7%. Traditional tobacco control ideology, “quit or die trying to quit” is failed policy. Research has shown that vapor and e-cigs have a cessation rate well over 60%.  While no nicotine-containing product is safe, vapor products are at the least 95% safer than smoking. FDA recognizes that folks smoke for the nicotine, but die from the tar and chemicals produced in the gas phase.

Last May, FDA finalized a “deeming” rule that extended its regulatory reach to tobacco-less vapor products. These products are now subject to a 2007 predicate date. Any “deemed” products produced after that date must apply for a formal, lengthy and costly approval process. According to FDA’s own figures, 98% of all products will be pulled from the market. This regulation will kill 15,000 small businesses and will protect deadly cigarette sales.

The Cole-Bishop bill calls for modernizing the predicate date. The bill moves the predicate date from February 2007 to August 8, 2016 – the final effective date of the FDA “deeming” rule. I support this policy. It protects public health while maintaining the important oversight by the FDA.

For the sake of Missourians who rely on e-cigarettes for smoking cessation and the thousands of people employed in the industry, I hope folks will call on congress to support the Cole-Bishop bill.

A.J. Moll

Executive Director

Missouri Smoke Free