FDA getting its priorities straight?

This showed up in this article about one of the first moves of the FDA in this new capacity.

“CTP (which is the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products) is concerned that children and adolescents may find dissolvable tobacco products particularly appealing, given the brightly colored packaging, candy-like appearance and easily concealable size of many of these products,” Dr. Lawrence Deyton, director of the Center for Tobacco Products, told the companies.
Deyton said regulators are worried the products’ nicotine content and rapid dissolution could cause nicotine dependence and addiction and be especially dangerous to children and young adults.
He asked the two best known makers of dissolvable tobacco products to provide their research and marketing information on how people under age 26 perceive and use the products.

We have been watching the FDA and hoping that somehow harm reduction might enter the picture, that proven safer products might be allowed to be described as such or some other similar common sense public health motivated moves but we get this.

Fearing that these products might appeal to children, they then ask the companies to do a study of their appeal to under 26s. Not knowing the details, I can only assume that they mean how the products might appeal to those from the legal age of purchase to the age of 26.

I would think that with a legal product that the company should be allowed to make the product as attractive as possible to its sanctioned market. As to those who cannot purchase it, it is irrelevant how they perceive it. Well, perhaps not irrelevant, but the fact is is that there is a law in place to stop them from purchasing the product.

To turn once again to the tired auto analogy, this would be like saying that Ford had to do a study, at their own expense, of whether their cars appeal to children. And of course, if the results came back that the products were appealing to children, then they should be modified, even though children cannot purchase them (or in the cases of cars, legally drive them).

I have to also return to the flavoured tobacco products nonsense in that it has to be almost impossible to perfectly tease apart child and adult preferences. All ages like flavours, will be attracted to bright colours, cool packaging, easy concealability, etc.

Would I or do I condone child friendly tobacco products? No but it wouldn’t matter it I did because they are not allowed to buy them.


2 thoughts on “FDA getting its priorities straight?

  1. I think there is little doubt that the FDA’s actions could kill or has killed smokers.

    – it has blocked attempts by cigarette manufacturers to create a safer cigarette
    – it has attempted to control e-cigarettes, a device which the UK government estimates could save hundreds of lives a years in the UK alone
    – it has manipulated the results of its own study to present electronic cigarettes as dangerous, when in reality that study proved they were far safer than regular cigarettes
    – now it looks like it wants to ban other safe tobacco products

    Of course, the FDA is largely funded by the same organisations who sell nicotine cessation aids!

  2. The callous disregard the FDA seems to have towards current smokers put aside, the double standard that exists regarding policy on drugs (legal and illegal) is very frustrating. Imagine if all policies were based on what *might* happen. A person might drive a car into a crowded restaurant. Someone might commit a B&E while drunk. A mentally ill person might assault someone. A kid may be tempted to try tobacco. Do we outlaw vehicles? Do we outlaw alcohol? Do we pre-emptively jail the mentally ill? No. The cost to people’s liberties would be too great. Yet here we are faced with the very real possibility that flavoured tobacco be made illegal because of a *might*. We very reasonably outlaw assaults, B&E’s and the selling of tobacco to minors. What more can people do?

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