Senator Warns FDA To Justify E-Cigarette Regs Or Be Forced To Do So

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Guy Bentley Research Associate, Reason Foundation
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Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson is demanding the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) answer his questions regarding onerous e-cigarette regulations or his committee may be forced to “compel the production of this information.”

The FDA’s “deeming” regulations are a source of fierce debate and controversy with industry experts fearing they could wipe out 99 percent of the e-cigarette market. (RELATED: FDA Announces Rule To Ban 99 Percent Of E-Cigarettes)

Johnson wrote to the FDA May 19 asking for information regarding the consequences of the rules. Johnson asked the FDA whether it will revise its regs if there is sufficient data that finds e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes.

The GOP senator also wants to find out how many businesses will be affected by the FDA’s 499-page rule book and whether any analysis was undertaken to see if smoking rates might increase if the e-cigarette market is decimated. (RELATED: GOP Senator Challenges FDA On Crushing E-Cig Regulations)

“I wrote to request your assistance in understanding the consequences that this new regulation may have on small businesses and the public’s health. To date, you have not responded to my letter. Therefore, I write again to reiterate my request for information about FDA’s regulation and its potential consequences,” Johnson said Monday.

“Since I sent my initial letter to you, I have heard from many small-business owners who manufacture or sell e-cigarette products. These job creators have contacted my office expressing their grave concerns about the FDA’s regulatory overreach. They fear that the FDA’s e-cigarette rule will force them out of business by requiring them to complete costly and time-consuming premarket applications for each e-cigarette product.”

Johnson added he spoke to numerous individuals who have quit smoking thanks to e-cigarettes and don’t want the products severely restricted or banned. The senator asked the FDA to provide the information he requested no later than 5:00 p.m. June 20.

“If the FDA does not provide an adequate response to these inquiries, the Committee may be forced to resort to other means to compel the production of this information,” said Johnson.

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