A UK study recently published by the Centre for Substance Use Research (CSUR) is drawing controversy in the United States by going against everything that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says about teen smoking. On May 5, 2016, the new FDA e-cig regulations were officially announced, requiring manufacturers to follow the same approval processes as Big Tobacco even though most reputable scientific research indicates that e-cigs are at least 95% healthier and safer than smoking.
Since the FDA lacked the support of the scientific community, key decision makers like the FDA’s Mitch Zeller had to find another way to market the billion-dollar e-cig regulations to the American people, and perhaps more importantly, to the mainstream media. After all, the FDA was already in the midst of several public scandals, including allegations of racketeering, conspiracy, and concealing possibly deadly information regarding the drug Levaquin. The best way to win the support of the press was to create the illusion that e-cig use by teens leads to increased chances of future smoking of combustible tobacco products as adults.
Spreading misinformation in the most deceptive way
The FDA began posting falsified news stories and blog posts all over the Internet, calling e-cigs a “gateway” to smoking for America’s youth. Members of the FDA went on Fox News, CNN, and even MSNBC’s Morning Joe to spread this tag line. But now that the vaping industry is fighting back, even mainstream news reporters are questioning the FDA’s true motives behind the newly announced e-cig regulations.
It doesn’t’ help matters that just days before the May 5 announcement by the FDA, the UK’s Royal College of Physicians issued a report claiming that doctors, other medical professionals, and even federal governments should be shouting from the rooftops about the health benefits of electronic cigarettes. But the FDA still remains adamant, even though the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Sen. Ron Johnson, is conducting an official investigation into the legality of the FDA e-cig regulations.
Another interesting fact about the CSUR study is that it was funded by Great Britain’s Fontem Ventures, a developer non-tobacco products and a subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco. Imperial sells both electronic and traditional cigarette products. This organization has a very good reason for determining the health benefits of e-cigs with regard to tobacco products. Unlike the FDA, Fontem has no reason to tweak the facts to fit a specific, and perhaps devious, purpose.