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Experts Call for Stricter E-Cigarette Regulation Ahead of FDA Decision

The researcher holds various vape pens in his hands.

The researcher holds various vape pens in his hands.
Photo: Craig Mitchelldier (AP)

A new international survey of experts found that vaping devices like e-cigarettes are safer than traditional tobacco products. But experts also said that vaping products should only be sold in specialized stores and should not be used in public places. Conclusions come shortly before The FDA is preparing its final decisions this week. on the state of the vaping market in the USA

Electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products are marketed as the best and safest alternative to smoking cigarettes. E-cigarettes work by evaporating a liquid filled with nicotine, which can then be inhaled, while heated tobacco products must “heat, not burn” the tobacco inside, which theoretically results in fewer harmful substances. emissions. Vaping devices can also be used to consume other drugs, namely cannabis or its active ingredient THC.

FDA is going to release its first fundamental rules on the industry by September 9th, which will finalize the millions of applications from e-cigarette companies. The agency said it will discard products that do not demonstrate that they are “suitable for protecting public health.” In recent weeks already has stopped 55,000 flavored products from three smaller companies from the market may signal that few of these products will survive culling.

V new research published at BMJ Open, researchers from France and Switzerland decided to interview public health professionals. all over the world about their opinion on the future of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products… They used a method known as Delphi Overviewwhich uses a series of detailed questionnaires and reviews to help determine consensus among experts on a specific topic (in other words, the survey is not intended as a simple question and answer survey).

TThey conducted two rounds of survey, with 92 experts participating in the first and 55 experts in the second. These participants came from 15 countries, including the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, France and the United States, andAll of them had experience in research on tobacco control or smoking cessation.

For e-cigarettes, the team came to a consensus (eg at least 70% agreement on yes-no) that all ingredients of e-liquid should be listed in the product; that the liquid for electronic cigarettes should have the maximum concentration of nicotine; and that products should be labeled with limited evidence of shelf-life.immediate results, including their safety and addiction potential. They also agreed that e-cigarettes should not be sold in brick-and-mortar stores, but only in specialized e-cigarette stores or other places where tobacco products are sold, such as minors restricted pharmacies. Heated tobacco products should be considered addictive like traditional cigarettes and should be accompanied by the same warnings and taxes that are charged on cigarettes, interviewees experts said

Most experts agree e-cigarettes are safer than cigarettes and is less addictive than heated tobacco products, and that vaping should be offered as one of many smoking cessation aids. Bbut most also believed that people are more likely to use e-cigarettes and cigarettes at the same time, rather than using vaping as a way to quit smoking permanently. The majority also agreed that neither e-cigarettes nor heated tobacco products should be allowed indoors. public places and that they should not be advertised to non-smokers.

This study, although intended as the first international study of its kind, has its own reservations. Namely, a low response rate, with only 34% of eligible participants responding to the initial survey and just over half returned for the second round. Thus, the results cannot be generalized to all relevant experts around the world, the researchers warn. They also noted that the second round of the survey took place after an epidemic of lung disease among some vaping users in the US in 2019, which may have influenced the opinion of some people (The crisis, although used by some states as an excuse to further suppress the industry, was traced on the black market for THC products, illegally sold e-cigarettes).

Some countries, especially the UK, seem to be much more favorable to e-cigarettes than others. Public health experts widely support its use as an aid to smokers. and its lead public health agency argues that smoking is at least 95% less harmful than smoking. There are also some scientists in the USA who are very critical from their fellow vaping researchers and who claimed I like this policy banning flavored foods can be counterproductive and actually increase the risk of smoking among adolescents.

Authors of the new study Notice the ongoing debate over vaping and the “passionate responses” expressed by experts from various angles. But they also hope that their findings “can be useful to health authorities, decision-makers and researchers on tobacco use and tobacco cessation.”

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