Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, implied in 2016 that smokers who quit by using e-cigarettes don’t exist – calling these people “hypothetical individuals.”
It should also be noted that Zeller was also a previous political consultant for the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, the makers of Nicorette Gum.
Make no mistake about it, Zeller – we exist.
An article on Vapes.com explained the nefarious nature of Zeller’s endgame, as well as the
“Zeller spearheaded the campaign to write new FDA e-cig regulations that would eliminate the competitive advantage that electronic cigarettes held over ‘The Patch,’ Nicorette Gum, and other similar smoking cessation products. But the new regulations would also need to be marketed to the American Public in such a way that the typical voter would somehow view e-cigs as at least as deadly as traditional tobacco cigarettes, if not more. Who better to do this than anti-smoking advocacy groups like the American Cancer Society?”
Anybody smell conspiracy? Add Big Tobacco and its interest in holding on to market share, despite the fact that most cigarette companies have their own vape divisions, and the stench grows.
But the truth always comes to light, regardless of the deep pockets of the dishonest.
Good thing there’s a new sheriff in town – or at least at the FDA – in the person of Scott Gottlieb, the organization’s new chief. Hopefully he will continue to muzzle Zeller, who still, unfortunately, has his job.
In a surprising turn of events for the beleaguered vape industry and for the millions of e-cigarette users who have successfully made the switch from cigarettes, the FDA on Friday announced sweeping changes to its policy regarding electronic cigarettes.
In a July press release, the FDA had this to say:
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced a new comprehensive plan for tobacco and nicotine regulation that will serve as a multi-year roadmap to better protect kids and significantly reduce tobacco-related disease and death. The approach places nicotine, and the issue of addiction, at the center of the agency’s tobacco regulation efforts. The goal is to ensure that the FDA has the proper scientific and regulatory foundation to efficiently and effectively implement the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. To make certain that the FDA is striking an appropriate balance between regulation and encouraging development of innovative tobacco products that may be less dangerous than cigarettes, the agency is also providing targeted relief on some timelines described in the May 2016 final rule that extended the FDA’s authority to additional tobacco products. The agency will also seek input on critical public health issues such as the role of flavors in tobacco products.”
Obviously, one of these “innovative tobacco products” is the electronic cigarette. Unfortunately, we will have to live with the word tobacco for now.
The deadline for product review applications has now been pushed to August 8, 2022 – a win by any definition for the vape industry as well as for consumers who have embraced the electronic cigarette as a step toward harm reduction.
Despite Big Tobacco’s best efforts to obfuscate the benefit of the electronic cigarette, the FDA under Gottlieb has begun to turn the tables.