A Reprieve for E-Cigarettes and Vaping | CSP Daily News – CSPDailyNews.com

“Envisioning a world where cigarettes would no longer create or sustain addiction, and where adults … get nicotine from alternative and less harmful sources, needs to be the cornerstone of our efforts.”—Dr. Scott Gottlieb

At once bewildering and promising, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) new position on tobacco, driven by new Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, focuses on an almost fantastical notion of re-engineering traditional, combustible cigarettes to reduce their levels of nicotine, while at the same time offering an apparent reprieve for e-cigarettes and the vaping community.

The FDA essentially answered a question with a question, stating a new direction by posing a scientific unknown. And while the tobacco industry’s reaction was ultimately one of uncertainty, the mainstream conclusion was: The FDA just bought the category time.

Speaking on an Aug. 3 investor call, Donnie Smith, vice president and controller for El Dorado, Ark.-based Murphy USA Inc., expressed confidence that the FDA would follow through on its promised review of “real science and understanding the unintended consequences of any regulation.”

The process, he said, would probably take a while. So by working with manufacturers over that period, Smith said retailers such as Murphy would be “well-positioned to participate in the new products, their introduction and work in the context of the regulations as they get developed and modified over time.”

Since the November 2016 election, retailers wondered how the FDA would handle tobacco issues under the Trump administration. Then in midsummer, Gottlieb issued an extended document focused on breaking nicotine addiction as a central strategy.

In addition, Gottlieb said alternatives to combustible cigarettes, such as electronic cigarettes, are in need of further public discussion and research, subsequently extending deadlines for manufacturers to submit their new-product applications to at least four years from now, as opposed to August 2018.

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