The FDA has attempted to ban an alternative to smoking called the electronic cigarette, has attempted to define the device as a drug delivery device and is continuing to seize imports of e-cigarettes. Now Spike Babaian, the President of the National Vapers’ Club, a consumers’ organization set up to promote and protect the product, claims the FDA are also blocking research into the device.
In an interview with the Smoker’s Angel magazine, Spike said that the FDA had twice blocked research into the electronic cigarette on the basis that the cigarette was a drug delivery device. The second time occurred even after an American judge had ruled that the electronic cigarette was not a drug delivery device. Spike speculated that the motivation for blocking the research might be financial, saying:
“The only thing that I can think of is that they stand to lose money if we do it without the FDA. If this research were to be done and funded through the FDA, they’ve already admitted they would cost millions and millions of dollars. We’re able to do the study, we proceeded with the proposal with a quote of $76,000 and I believe that we can complete this study for less than a hundred thousand dollars if we don’t have to go through the FDA.”
Source: National Vapers’ Club Interview
According to scientists such as Professor Carl Phillips, the electronic cigarette is between one hundred and one thousand times safer than tobacco cigarettes, and the FDA’s own studies show that levels of tobacco-specific nitrosamines are in e-cigarettes are 1,400 times lower than those in Marlboro cigarettes.
What are your thoughts? Is the FDA really trying to block research into the e-cigarette, or are their actions an attempt to protect public health?