It has been an eventful week for the U.S. vaping industry as two high-profile Democrats, Senators Chuck Schumer and Richard Blumenthal, held separate press conferences calling for an immediate recall of exploding e-cigs by the FDA. The soon-to-be Minority Leader Schumer even called electronic cigarettes “ticking time bombs” while simultaneously insinuating that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has seeming dropped the ball on regulating an industry largely demonized by the American People.
Meanwhile, Sen. Blumenthal jumped on board the anti-vaping bandwagon after learning of an incident in which a Stratford man’s vape mod allegedly exploded in his mouth while walking to his car after a hard day at work. Blumenthal accuses the vaping industry of “cutting corners,” presumably in favor of profits over public health.
"I am troubled by (the FDA’s) lack of action to date, and also concerned that the e-cigarette industry is cutting corners and not taking appropriate steps to ensure the electrical safety of the products they are manufacturing and marketing."
Blumenthal’s statements mimic those of Chuck Schumer from less than a week earlier when the Minority Leader said that the recent surge in e-cig explosions is cause for “sounding the alarm” on FDA ineptitude.
“Where there’s smoke, there’s fire and that seems to be the case — again and again — for many popular e-cigarettes that have injured dozens of people…With any other product, serious action would have been taken and e-cigarettes should be no exception. Despite the explosions, no recalls have been issued. It’s radio silence from both the industry and the feds, so that’s why I’m sounding the alarm.”
Both Schumer and Blumenthal hail from the glorious state of Connecticut, and both are staunch Democrats. But their Republican counterparts are largely taking a very different approach to the issue of exploding e-cigs.
GOP leaders oppose Schumer and Blumenthal
Senator Ron Johnson from Wisconsin has written several letters to the FDA in recent months demanding clarification into the decision-making process behind the newly announced FDA deeming regulations from last May. So far, his repeated requests have mostly been ignored, even though Johnson is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
Republican Duncan Hunter from California, lovingly nicknamed The Vaping Congressman by the e-cig community after openly puffing on a vape mod during a committee hearing on airline vaping, has also sided with Johnson. Just last week, the two GOP leaders penned a joint letter to the FDA urging for an immediate repeal of the deeming regulations before Trump takes office.
Donald Trump’s recent announcement that he is looking at pro-vaping Jim O’Neill to head the FDA is considered a good sign in many circles of the U.S. vaping industry that those pesky deeming regulations might eventually be overturned once and for all, whether Schumer and Blumenthal like it or not.