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FDA’s Scott Gottlieb ‘disappointed by tepid response’ of vaping industry

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in the midst of a federal probe regarding the marketing of kid-appealing e-liquids. With a new 30-day extension recently announced, the deadline to submit comments is now July 16, 2018. Meanwhile, the head of the government agency is expressing his disappointment regarding the vaping industry’s apparent lack of concern over self-regulation. In early June, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb made a speech at the annual conference for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) where he made the following statement.

“They (vaping and tobacco companies) better step up and step up soon – to address these trends along with us. So far, I must say, I’ve mostly been disappointed by the tepid response from companies that know that a meaningful portion of their sales are being derived from kids.”

When the newly elected Donald Trump nominated Mr. Gottlieb to his current post shortly after election day, many vaping advocacy groups saw this as a positive sign of things to come. In his former professional life, Gottlieb had been a major financial investor in the vaping company KURE. He also has close ties to NJOY’s Peter Thiel.

With credentials like those, one might automatically assume that the new head of the FDA would be considerably more vaping-friendly - especially compared to his predecessor Robert Califf of the Obama Administration (Califf was the guy who spearheaded and released the controversial FDA deeming regulations that now threaten to bankrupt the entire industry by 2022). Unfortunately, it appears as if Mr. G is nearing the end of his proverbial rope, at least where vaping is concerned.

Are FDA Chief Gottlieb’s repeated warnings falling on deaf ears?

This isn’t the first time that the FDA Chief has expressed his discontent with the allegedly kid-appealing advertising practices of a minority of retailers and vape shops. Just like his controversial boss Donald Trump, Gottlieb took to Twitter in February 2018 to not only berate vendors but to put average adult vapers on blast, as well.

“Adults can’t favor preserving properly regulated e-cigarettes as an alternative for smokers who quit combustible tobacco, and not at same time vigorously oppose child access to e-cigs. The industry isn’t sustainable if it leads to a whole generation of youth initiation on tobacco.”

The vaping community needs to take this “stop selling to kids or else” campaign by the FDA very, very seriously. If a seemingly pro-vaping Gottlieb is getting pissed off because American vapers seem to be failing to heed his multiple calamitous warnings, then the chances that the FDA probe will lead to an eventual ban on the sales of flavored e-liquids nationwide appears all that more likely. In the words of Scott Gottlieb, the time for vapers to “step up” is now. To post electronic comments to the FDA probe on flavored e-liquids, visit Regulations.gov

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