Dr. Scott Gottlieb has been appointed as the new head of the FDA, and this has the potential to directly affect the vape industry. From his very first speech in which he addressed the public, he acknowledged the current climate regarding vape regulations along with acknowledging the possibilities that lie ahead. Gottlieb’s history in regards to his views of tobacco usage highly encourage harm reduction, and considering his personal stock investment in a vapor retail chain (which he stated he would be selling if appointed to the FDA), along with being a former board member, it certainly makes the industry believe he has a firm understanding of the potential of vapor products.
Gottlieb made it clear that protecting consumers and patients is the overall goal of the FDA, along with making it evident how important turning attention towards efforts to assist smokers will be for the agency. He stated: “We need to redouble efforts to help more smokers become tobacco-free. And, we need to have the science base to explore the potential to move current smokers – unable or unwilling to quit – to less harmful products, if they can’t quit altogether.”
He furthered this statement by addressing the FDA’s aim to ensure children are educated and encouraged to avoid tobacco smoking with “At all times, we must protect kids from the dangers of tobacco use.” Could it be true that common sense regulations are ahead for the industry?
Gottlieb’s stance on vaping was also quite encouraging, and the industry was very much happy to have the acknowledgement, along with the recognition and awareness when he said “Among these and many other opportunities, there’s probably no single intervention, or product we’re likely to create in the near future that can have as profound an impact on reducing illness and death from disease as our ability to increase the rate of decline in smoking.” While this was not a direct praise of vapor products, it was not a negative swipe by any means.
So for now, though things are currently at a standstill for the vapor industry and the FDA, we have enough ground to stand upon to feel hopeful regarding the future. Dr. Scott Gottlieb is a beacon of light, for now at least, in hopes that the independent vapor products market can continue to thrive as a result of regulations that make sense. Only time will tell what the outcome is, but considering his personal stance and educated opinions, we can only hope that the actions he proposes will be at the best interest of all the smokers who may benefit from these products, as well as the industry itself.