Advocates Urge FDA To Kill Rule Blocking Vape Shops From Speaking About Health Benefits Of Vaping

Steve Birr | Vice Reporter

The attorney general of Iowa is backing a lawsuit brought by a Florida-based electronic cigarette manufacturer challenging a federal rule restricting the free speech of vape shop owners.

Iowa’s Attorney General Tom Miller, a Democrat, filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Thursday, supporting the right of vape shops to discuss with their customers the health impacts of vapor products compared to combustible cigarettes, reports Reuters.

Miller wants the Food and Drug Administration to strike down the contentious “deeming rule” that blocks the speech of vape businesses, which is currently being appealed by Florida-based vape manufacturer Nicopure Labs LLC.

A number of lawsuits are hitting the FDA over what vaping advocates argue is an unconstitutional rule that threatens their industry’s existence. The Pacific Legal Foundation, which is representing shops from five states, filed three lawsuits in federal courts Jan. 30 targeting the deeming rule, calling it, “unconstitutional and illogical.”

The rule allows the FDA to treat vaping devices like combustible cigarettes under the Tobacco Control Act despite the fact they do not contain tobacco, opening the industry up to onerous regulations that most manufacturers and retailers cannot afford.

Ample research is proving vaping devices significantly reduce the harm cigarettes cause. The majority of cancer-causing chemicals are released through tobacco combustion.

Scientists at the University of Catania in Italy recently conducted a three-year study investigating the effects of regular vaping on the body of the user, finding “no evidence of health concerns associated with long-term use of e-cigarettes” on blood pressure, heart rate, body weight, lung function, respiratory symptoms, exhaled breath nitric oxide and exhaled carbon monoxide.

Despite the positive research proving the safety of vaping over smoking, businesses will remain barred from discussing the products with perspective customers under the FDA rule.

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