FDA’s proposed ban on menthol cigarettes explains why FDA needs to reverse its de facto approvals of menthol e-cigarettes

The FDA’s decisions to act on premarket tobacco product applications (PMTAs) for e-cigarettes has been explicit about two points: (1) it is authorizing tobacco flavors because kids don’t seem to use tobacco flavored e-cigs and (2) it is blocking flavored e-cigs – except menthol – because kids like flavors.  Because they can’t justify allowing mentholContinue reading “FDA’s proposed ban on menthol cigarettes explains why FDA needs to reverse its de facto approvals of menthol e-cigarettes”

Ending the sale of flavored tobacco products is the real harm reduction

Yesterday (May 9, 2022) I testified before the Colorado Senate Finance Committee supporting a proposed statewide ban on the sale of all flavored tobacco products. As usual, opponents claimed that flavored products were needed for “harm reduction.” In listening to their testimony, I realized that for e-cigs and other tobacco products to actually reduce harm,Continue reading “Ending the sale of flavored tobacco products is the real harm reduction”

FDA proposed menthol ban in cigarettes is well done, except for the exceptions

On April 28, 2022, FDA released its proposed tobacco product standard prohibiting menthol cigarettes. The justification for prohibiting menthol as a characterizing flavor includes a comprehensive review of the effects of menthol on smoking, including why menthol promotes cigarette initiation and how it makes it harder to quit smoking. In addition to summarizing the behavioralContinue reading “FDA proposed menthol ban in cigarettes is well done, except for the exceptions”

Ecigs roll back the clock on kid quitting, too

E-cigarettes have reversed the long-term trend of declining nicotine addiction among kids. Now Richard Miech and his colleagues at USC have used the Monitoring the Future survey data on tobacco use behavior among 8th to 12th graders to study the prevalence of failed quit attempts for cigarettes (from 1997 through 2020) and e-cigarettes (for 2020,Continue reading “Ecigs roll back the clock on kid quitting, too”

E-cigarettes more likely to lead to ongoing nicotine addiction than NRT

E-cigarette advocates and, more important, the FDA, takes it as given that e-cigarettes were developed as a harm reduction tool to help smokers quit cigarettes by “switching completely.”  This assumption is, however, inconsistent with the tobacco companies’ actual reasons for developing e-cigarettes and other non-combustible products, including tobacco company products approved as NRT: To deterContinue reading “E-cigarettes more likely to lead to ongoing nicotine addiction than NRT”

Higher nicotine content and flavors increase e-cig abuse liability

As debates over nicotine and flavors in e-cigarettes continues to heat up, Mari Gades, Aleksandra Alcheva, Amy Riegelman, and Dorothy Hatsukami just published “The role of nicotine and flavor in the abuse potential and appeal of electronic cigarettes for adult current and former cigarette and electronic cigarette users: A systematic review” in Nicotine and TobaccoContinue reading “Higher nicotine content and flavors increase e-cig abuse liability”

Tobacco control policies are “softening” smokers

The desire to reach “hard core” smokers, typically characterized as smokers who “cannot or will not quit,” is one of the core justifications for e-cigarettes and other new alternative tobacco products are part of the industry’s “harm reduction” agenda. Now Miranda Harris and her Australian colleagues have produced a systematic review debunking the hardening hypothesisContinue reading “Tobacco control policies are “softening” smokers”

E-cig science has marched on; it is important that decision making and education be based on the current state of knowledge

In January 2021, I published a blog post making the point that the 2018 National Academy of Science Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) report on e-cigarettes was out of date. Now, Physicians for a Smoke Free Canada has published an extensive update detailing specifically how the science on e-cigarettes has advanced since then 2018, noting thatContinue reading “E-cig science has marched on; it is important that decision making and education be based on the current state of knowledge”

More real world evidence that e-cigs make it harder to quit cigarettes

The evidence that e-cigarettes do not work for smoking cessation just keeps piling up. The latest high quality real world study, “Effectiveness of e-cigarettes as aids for smoking cessation: evidence from the PATH Cohort Study, 2017-19,” published by Ruifeng Chen and colleagues at UCSD in Tobacco Control reports on the association between e-cigarette use andContinue reading “More real world evidence that e-cigs make it harder to quit cigarettes”

The fact that daily ecig users quit more is not relevant to FDA CTP’s assessment of whether to authorize the sale of e-cigs

The new paper “Association of e-cigarette use with discontinuation of cigarette smokers among adult cigarette smokers who were initially planning to quit” in JAMA Open Network by Karin Karza and colleagues confirms that smokers who use e-cigarettes daily are more likely to quit cigarettes than those who don’t use e-cigarettes. Also consistent with earlier studies,Continue reading “The fact that daily ecig users quit more is not relevant to FDA CTP’s assessment of whether to authorize the sale of e-cigs”