Let Your Voice Be Heard!
On July 28th, 2017 the FDA released a press statement saying that they have decided to take a more comprehensive approach to nicotine and tobacco, including an initiative to lower nicotine in cigarettes to minimally addictive or non-addictive levels. Aimed at shifting the trajectory of tobacco-related disease and death, the agency’s approach recognizes that nicotine is delivered through products posing a continuum of risk. Since then, the FDA announced November 29th of last year on their blog that they were forming a new Nicotine Steering Committee. This committee is charged with re-evaluating and modernizing the FDA’s approach to development and regulation of nicotine replacement therapy products that help smokers quit.
Just yesterday, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. posted on the FDA’s twitter: “Advancing medicinal nicotine replacement therapies that help smokers quit is a key piece of our comprehensive approach to reduce smoking-related disease and death.
#FDA’s Nicotine Steering Committee’s docket for public comment on these issues opened today.” This public docket is available for public comments and concerns regarding NRT’s (Nicotine Replacement Therapies) and ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems) in regards to how the FDA will approach regulation and development. With many of our amazing customers becoming smoke free with the aid of electronic cigarettes we believe this docket could help us. We want to make our voices heard about our experiences with the transition away from combustible cigarettes and the use of flavored eliquids. In his initial press conference from July, the FDA Commissioner expressed concerns about flavored eliquids and how they may appeal to children. This is cause for concern for many vapers considering they may only use sweet, candy or dessert flavors to stay smoke free. The possibility of a flavor ban by the FDA is seemingly becoming more of an reality. Our goal should be to convey our experiences with flavored eliquids and how they helped us transition away from combustible cigarettes. As well as reiterating that vaping is a harm reduction option for current smokers looking to transition.
This public docket was made available yesterday by the FDA on their twitter account. We would like as many people as possible to post their comments. We would also like to help by providing some talking points you can cover when you do decide to comment. On top of the talking points, we’ll add things to avoid in your comments. This is make sure we stand unified and respectful in how we present our comments. We do not want to bash or criticise anyone, or comment with unvalidated information.
Talking Points to Cover:
- Explain your experiences with NRT’s (nicotine replacement therapies). Which ones you have tried and how those experiences went. How it affected your mood or behavior and if they worked or not for you.
- Go over how you learned about vaping and ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems). How did it help you quit smoking and how the transition went for you.
- What flavored eliquids you used at the start and what you currently use. If you do switch flavors regularly, explain why you do so, and what importance that is for you.
- Explain why flavored eliquids are important for you specifically to stay smoke free.
- Talk about what vaping means to you as a harm reduction method to stay smoke free.
- If you do use eliquids with nicotine and have decrease your levels since you started, mention it.
- Keep your comments professional and respectful. We are asking the FDA to view us as a professional industry, and to do so we need to act and speak as such.
- Double check your spelling or have a friend look it over before you post it if you can.
Talking Points to Avoid:
- Do not call out, name-call or bash any company or the FDA.
- Keep the language clean….no f-bombs or the like. You catch more flies with honey than you do vinegar.
- Do not do throw in too much personal opinion or unvalidated information. For example, it’s ok to say: “I have had success with vaping because xyz…” do not say: “Vaping is the only way for anyone to stop smoking.” There is no factual evidence to support this claim and it’s too demanding.
- Keep it about the industry. Don’t mention anything about ‘that one friend of yours that makes his own eliquids’ etc. We are trying to gain support for the vaping industry and the professionals that are involved in it. These are the ones who are under attack with the wholesale tax and new regulations. So keep it about vaping industry if you so happen to mention them in your comments.
- Do not relating the vaping industry to the alcohol industry. This may seem like a good example due to the different flavors available of alcohol. The alcohol industry is under its own strict regulations and guidelines, and isn’t regulated by the FDA. We do not want the same regulations as the alcohol industry plain and simple. Just keep it about vaping.
Visit this link to submit your comments. If you are an individual consumer, we suggest this option in the categories. There are other categories for industry and organizations etc. if needed. You have the option to be anonymous, or you can include just your name or your name and contact information. We hope you take the time to send in your comments. It won’t take much of your time and it could help the vaping industry take a step in the right direction. There is a limited timeframe to post comments, so the sooner you post the better! We thank you in advance for your time and comments on this matter. We appreciate you!