I know…..I know….My blog has been silent over a year and I apologize.
Anywhooo, I submitted my comments to the FDA today and since so many of you guys wanted to know what I said I figured Id put it here.
So here is what I submitted: (My tracking # is: 1jy-8dh8-3×75)
“FDA, Docket No. FDA-2014-N-0189, Regulatory Information Number (RIN) 0910- AG38”
Submitted July 28, 2014
Dear FDA Center for Tobacco Products,
My name is Sheila Faulstich and I smoked two packs of cigarettes for over 30 years. I no longer smoke thanks to electronic cigarettes. Since I began vaping a little over 500 days ago, I have also been able to reduce my nicotine level from 24 mg to 3 mg and even sometimes vape 0 mg.
As with others like me, FDA approved methods to quit smoking did not work for me for various reasons. My doctor attempted to help me quit smoking many times due to my health deteriorating. Some FDA approved methods were not compatable because of their side effects and I even attempted hypnosis. Even during my longest stretch without smoking, I still wanted to smoke and eventually went right back to smoking 2 packs a day.
Right before I discovered electronic cigarettes, I was diagnosed with COPD and needed to use a rescue inhaler several times a day. I also suffered from a myriad of other health issues. Ever since I started using the electronic cigarette, I have not needed to use my rescue inhaler and my other health related issues and begun to improve.
While we, the consumers, have no way of knowing the impact of the proposed FDA regulations, there is ‘talk’ in our community that only cig-a-likes would be available. This is a big problem for me. For one, these products are being manufactured by ‘big tobacco’. The same manufacturers who have poisoned me for 30 years. Its also worth noting that these cig-a-likes cannot be refilled with the nicotine level than I currently use, which is significantly lower than what is available with these products.
I am fearful that if these regulations are put into place in the way they are perceived to be, that there will be an underground movement for these products. This increases the risk of the consumer since many of the vendors we work with now, may be put out of business due to the burden of the regulatory process. Many of us, the consumer, personally know our vendors. So many of the vendors we use are living the American Dream of owning a business for the first time in their lives, and employing people. In this economy, I dont think putting people back out of work is any answer.
Many legislators, as well as what is contained in the proposed FDA regulations, are skirting around the issue of flavored e-juice. Quite honestly, I dont vape tobacco or menthol flavored e-juice. I personally do not like them. If I were to list all the flavors I vape, I would exceed the word limitations for commenting. Adults like flavors. Its just that simple. If you ban flavored e-juice, then where is the logic in allowing flavored alcohol or flavored nicotine gum, which is currently approved by the FDA.
Should the proposed regulations go into effect as they are currently written, many would have no choice to go back to smoking. While I am not personally one of them, it is worth considering that many thousands of current non-smokers would be reduced to smoking after (in many cases) a substantial absence from cigarettes.
Not all the proposed regulations are arguable though. I believe that most of us in the vaping community would gladly adhere to putting restrictions of these products out of the hands of minors. However, every vendor and electronic cigarette store Ive used, does not sell to minors already, so Im unsure of the necessity to over-regulate what is already being followed as an ‘industry standard’.
In closing, I am perplexed as to why the FDA would need to step into this growing industry that has had no problems in the 5 years it has florished.