When Scott Gottlieb won the job as the new Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), many vapers were hopefully optimistic. After all, Gottlieb has been a long-time friend of the vaping community after having previously been a major financial investor in the KURE e-cigarette company. He is also a very close friend of the infamous Jim O’Neill of NJOY.
However, after a series of recent press releases, a couple of odd television interviews, and one very ominous tweet, many in the vaping community are beginning to question Gottlieb’s assumed pro-vaping loyalty. Is the FDA getting ready to roll-out new regulations that will essentially ban the sales of flavored e-liquids nationwide? This is the question that is keeping many vape shop owners and online retailers up at night.
The strange tweet by Scott Gottlieb
As many vapers already know, the vaping industry has been under attack by multiple anti-tobacco groups claiming that e-liquid manufacturers and vendors are secretly targeting their marketing campaigns to attract teen and young adults. The theory is that because so many e-juices have flavor combinations like cotton candy and bubblegum, then vendors must be targeting young children.
Of course, none of these anti-vaping articles ever mention the fact that adults like cotton candy and bubblegum flavors, too. And if candy-flavored e-liquids help smokers quit, then what’s the harm? On February 17, the Gottlieb twitter account issued the following statement, which seems to indicate that the FDA Chief may be believing the anti-vaping media hype, 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”
Reading between the lines, it’s almost as if Gottlieb is saying to the American vaping industry, “Stop selling to kids, or else!” The tweet implies that if vaping doesn’t shape up, then he might just regulate the entire industry out of existence.
Meanwhile, several metropolitan governments across the United States are proposing city ordinances that would essentially ban the sales of flavored e-liquids at the local level. If more and more local governments continue to endorse a flavor ban, Gottlieb may have little choice but to jump on board the anti-vaping bandwagon.