In the past few years, the fight against tobacco has become a public health crisis at a global level. But instead of focusing on the real culprit, cigarettes, the recent American anti-smoking act is actually focused on the eradication of vaping in schools. The “smoke-free” in the Act’s name is therefore deceptive and reductive, as it has nothing to do with smoking.
Put forth by American senators Tom Udall and Orin Hatch in December 2018, the project is focused on the prevention of vaping in minor populations. The objective is to bring health authorities together to establish educational measures and awareness campaigns regarding vaping or “juuling”.
Walking in the steps of the FDA: a hard line on vaping
This law project will probably be the best news of the end of year for Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Far from a vaping enthusiasts, Gottlieb has since the beginning been highly vocal in his opinion that vaping is veritable “epidemic”. It must be said that in the USA, teens are going crazy about the head-buzzing, candy-flavoured vape pen. Yet, the argument could be made that this is far from a public health crisis, especially if this prevents teens from getting into smoking cigarettes.
Gottlieb remains seemingly impervious to any scientific evidence that vaping can help smokers quit. After banning the sale of flavoured e-liquids, the threat level increased. Gottlieb recently stated on CNBC that he plans to ban the sale of all vaping products, even among adults, if the epidemic continued unabated. The fate of e-cigarettes is at a crucial cross-road, and the coming months are decisive.
Rather than promoting vaping as a smoking-cessation tool, the FDA discredits this entirely, calling it entirely useless. In these conditions, what can smokers do, rather than light up another cigarette, if there are no real alternatives? We already knew that the FDA was not pro-vaping, but we never suspected that an anti-smoking law could be so damaging to e-cigarettes, given their raison d’être. In the eyes of American authorities, it seems that vaping equals smoking.