Illinois Senator Dick Durbin demands that The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) remove kid-friendly e-cigarettes from the market.
He also wants the FDA to crack down on Juul’s claims that its e-cigarettes can help break people’s smoking habits.
In a letter to Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless, Durbin stated that he doesn’t get why the agency hasn’t taken measures to stop youth vaping.
Durbin believes that the acting commissioner has no desire to deal with the issue.
The Illinois Senator sounded off:
It is my belief that any person leading the FDA … must, first and foremost, feel a deep sense of responsibility to protect the health and well-being of all Americans, especially our nation’s children. Unfortunately, based on our meeting, I do not have confidence that you are that leader.
Durbin urged the acting FDA commissioner to not appeal a federal judge’s decision from earlier this month that demands the agency to expedite its review of thousands of e-cigarettes currently on the market.
In a statement, Durbin wrote “We know that kids are attracted to these products because of the kid-friendly flavors that your agency is currently, and inexplicably, refusing to regulate.”
The Senator added:
You have the explicit authority to end FDA’s senseless decision to suspend public health review of e-cigarettes and cigars and take action today.
Durbin also recommended that the FDA immediately enforce its own “deeming rule” which prohibits new e-cigarette products from entering the market after August 8, 2016 that do not have FDA approval.
The Illinois Senator added that “new products are coming to market seemingly daily” without the FDA’s seal of approval. In light of this, Durbin claims that “FDA has not ordered the removal of a single product for this violation.”
Durbin pointed to the example of renowned e-cigarette company Juul’s mango and “cool cucumber” flavors that did not arrive on the market until 2017. Curiously, they did not enter the market with FDA approval.
The Senator expressed his disbelief:
It defies logic that a federal regulatory agency, such as FDA, would not have an understanding of which products are on the market legally and which are on the market illegally.
Durbin then called for the FDA to remove all e-cigarette products that were not available on the market before the 2016 deeming rule came into effect.
But Durbin wasn’t done.
He also insisted that Sharpless make sure that Juul stop marketing itself as a means of breaking adults’ smoking habits.
The Senator wrote, “FDA has the authority to stop this deceptive marketing campaign. Use it.”
We can debate the merits of whether e-cigarettes are healthy or not, but the government has no right to micro-manage the peaceful activities of individuals. In the case that they are harmful, civil society, not government, should be the entity responsible for assuring that people know about the harmful effects about these substances.
Social pressure and awareness through voluntary society is more effective than government action. Too bad our control freak overlords in D.C. don’t get this.