Could smokeless e-cigarettes derail FDA tobacco regulation?

The proposed Food and Drug Administration regulation of tobacco products is running into unexpected opposition from such health groups as the American Lung Assn., American Cancer Society and Tobacco-Free Kids. Why? They want to include electronic cigarettes, now sold on line and at mall kiosks, that contain no tobacco, produce no smoke, and help many smokers stay off of conventional cigarettes. But because they look like cigarettes and simulate the act of smoking, these health groups, led by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), want them removed, a reason that Michael B. Siegel, Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences finds foolish and twisted.

“What’s behind the FDA regulatory scheme? Philip Morris, to be exact. The nation’s largest cigarette company is pushing this legislation because it would protect the existing cigarette market from potential competition like the e-cigarettes that are becoming popular….This is precisely why Philip Morris was brilliant in enticing ….health groups into supporting the FDA regulation of tobacco products.”

Contact Michael Siegel, 617-638-5160, mbsiegel@bu.edu

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