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‘Crusade Against E-Cigarettes’ Is Keeping Smokers Hooked On Tobacco

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Steve Birr Vice Reporter
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Critics of efforts to restrict electronic cigarettes in New Jersey are imploring lawmakers to reverse course and “help reduce the tragic toll from smoking.”

The Press of Atlantic City editorial board blasted anti-vaping crusaders Wednesday for continuing to push onerous rules on e-cigarettes in the face of mounting evidence they are helping save smokers’ lives. In the wake of a recent announcement from the Food and Drug Administration endorsing alternative nicotine technologies, public health advocates are asking officials in the state to reconsider their adversarial stance on vaping.

The editorial board wants lawmakers to follow the lead of the FDA and end its “bipartisan crusade against e-cigarettes.”

Recent initiatives from lawmakers in New Jersey call for banning flavored products, under the guise of protecting children from becoming smokers. Legislation is currently being reviewed by committees in both the state Assembly and Senate that only allows the sale of tobacco, menthol and clove flavors for vaping products. Former smokers note that flavored vaping products are key to quitting, because they help the user disassociate from the taste of tobacco.

“State officials need to get New Jersey policy in line with the FDA’s harm-reduction effort — abandoning the remaining elements of their crusade and reversing anti-vaping policies already enacted,” the Press of Atlantic City editorial board said Wednesday. “Three times Press editorials have urged the state to abandon its campaign against vaping in light of its benefits for existing smokers.”

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced July 28 that they are pushing off the deadline to comply with the FDA’s contentious “deeming rule” from Aug. 8, 2018 to Aug. 8, 2022. The FDA “deeming rule” requires businesses to retroactively submit each individual product to the FDA for approval before it can be sold. Businesses will have to file applications for nearly every product they currently sell at a cost of $100,000 to $400,000 each.

The decision gives the vaping industry, which faces a constant barrage of taxes and restrictions across the country, some much needed breathing room.

“New Jersey elected officials need to follow the FDA and help reduce the tragic toll from smoking cigarettes,” the Press of Atlantic City editorial board said.

Gottlieb stressed that the FDA wants to encourage the “development of innovative tobacco products that may be less dangerous than cigarettes,” as part of a larger strategy to reduce smoking rates in the U.S.

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Steve Birr