AAPHP Petitions FDA Stance on Electronic Cigarettes
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
The American Association of Public Health Physicians submitted a petition to the US Food and Drug Administration in response to their official stance concerning electronic cigarettes. They cite many concerns, including legal, ethical, epidemiological, medical, and the impact on public health the products could have in the future.
The AAPHP's recent petition dealt with their request that the FDA reclassify the products from a "drug-device combination" to a "tobacco product." They are currently urging all supporters of electronic cigarettes to leave the FDA comments on the docket for their petition so the will of the people may be made known . The AAPHP believes in and promotes harm reduction, unlike other mainstream health organizations who reject the concept.
According to the AAPHP, all tobacco products are "nicotine delivery devices" and that the largest portion of illness and death from conventional cigarettes is due to the products of the combusted tobacco, not the chemicals and other substances found in tobacco cigarettes. The carcinogens are not what cause the majority of the health problems; the smoke causes it when it is inhaled deeply into the lungs and held there.
"E-cigarettes, more than any other tobacco or tobacco-related product, satisfies both the habituation and nicotine addiction," says the organization in their petition. They state that they believe that many smokers struggle with a second addiction to smoking, which is the habit of carrying a pack of cigarettes and lighter, holding the cigarette when it is lit, and the act of smoking it. It is said in their report that there is a significant number of electronic cigarette users who have been successful in switching over to e-cigarette liquid which contains no nicotine while they continue to perform the ritual of "smoking."
Continuing on through the petition, they state that electronic cigarettes, unlike conventional cigarettes, produce no sidestream smoke; that is, smoke that is emitted from a cigarette when it is not being puffed on. The fact that electronic cigarettes also have no combustion is mentioned again, this time in reference to the amount of property damage done every year due to fires caused by lit cigarettes.
The AAPHP states that classifying electronic cigarettes as tobacco products would enable the FDA to impose manufacturing quality regulations, much in the same way pharmaceutical companies are expected to produce their products.
"Objections to FDA approval of e-cigarettes as tobacco products are speculative and largely based on misinformation," states the petition.
How well the petition will be noticed by the FDA is uncertain, but the complete document can be found here in PDF format.
Accessed: March 10, 2010