The tobacco industry’s lobbying arm, the American Cancer Society, has announced plans to lobby US government officials to outlaw the use of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid.
The move, announced today by the American Lung Association (ALA), follows a series of recent policy moves from the US government, which have put forward new proposals for restricting vaping.
Albeit not yet fully endorsed by the US Congress, the new push from the ALA is expected to come as a major win for the tobacco industry.
While the US is still struggling with the fallout from the 2009 pandemic, it’s not the first time vaping has faced scrutiny from the public.
In the UK, for example, e-cigarette companies were recently fined £1.7 million ($2.7m) after they were found to have breached health and safety laws in one case.
The US Tobacco Regulatory Commission has also taken a hard line against e-cigs, but its stance has also been less public.
According to the Associated Press, the FDA has banned vaping devices in all but a few states and the District of Columbia, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned the sale of electronic cigarettes in a few other states.
But the ALAA says the US has a lot of catching up to do.
In a statement, the group said: ‘The ALA and its partners are taking a principled position on the use and abuse of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) as a means of quitting smoking.
‘It’s a safe, effective and effective way to help smokers quit smoking and its use is not harmful to bystanders, the public or the environment.
‘We urge the US Government to act to ban and restrict the sale and marketing of ENDS to adults and youth, and to require manufacturers to obtain a government-approved device license.’
Tobacco control group Americans for Safe Access (ASH) said e-cig companies should be forced to comply with a strict new regulation which would prevent them from selling nicotine replacement products and nicotine gum, or ‘tobacco patches’ to anyone under the age of 18.
However, the ALAs statement said the US already had such strict restrictions.
‘There are already many laws in place to control e-Cigs,’ ALA spokesperson Scott Loeffler said.
‘The FDA’s regulations are already strict enough, and have already prevented tobacco companies from creating nicotine patches, or making products like menthol inhalers.
‘Instead, the tobacco companies are making excuses for e-Vaping by claiming it is an effective alternative to smoking.
The FDA has been saying it will not regulate e-juices or nicotine replacement, which they say is just a gimmick.
‘While these companies are using the FDA to make money off people’s health, the same people who have been using e-Ecigarettes are trying to kill us.’
Algorithms have been linked to smoking cessation The ALA has previously highlighted e-vapor companies’ ability to detect the presence of nicotine in cigarettes and to predict whether users are using a nicotine patch.
It also said they are less addictive than regular cigarettes.
The group has been campaigning against the FDA’s attempts to regulate electronic cigarettes and has recently called for the US to ban their use in public places.
ALA executive director Jennifer Lohmann said: Tobacco companies should not be allowed to profit from the deaths of children and young adults who have tried vaping.
‘If we do not protect the public from nicotine products that contain tobacco, then the risk of addiction will grow.
‘That’s why we have called for a ban on e-liquid, gum, and other nicotine products containing tobacco.
‘And the FDA should do the same.
‘Vaping is a safe and effective method of quitting tobacco.
The only way to do that is to ban e-liquids and other tobacco products that are not safe for the public and their health.
‘As the tobacco market has collapsed, so has the nicotine industry’s profits.’
Tobacco companies argue the technology behind e-products has been proven safe and that it is not a substitute for smoking.
But US researchers have found evidence that electronic cigarettes are linked to nicotine addiction.
A study in 2014 looked at how many people quit smoking by vaping compared to traditional cigarettes and found the e-colas were linked to a higher rate of smoking relapse.
The study also found the average e-smoker’s nicotine intake rose by 25mg a day, a level that is comparable to traditional cigarette smokers who also use nicotine gum.
It found e-smoking users who were exposed to the same levels of nicotine also had a 20% higher risk of relapse compared to those who did not use e-ejuice.
A recent study in Britain also found that e-migs were linked with a higher risk for quitting smoking, and this is believed to be due to the nicotine being added to the liquid.