Gottlieb drags another 21 vape companies into FDA probe over ‘teen vaping’

Gottlieb drags another 21 vape companies into FDA probe over ‘teen vaping’
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Gottlieb drags another 21 vape companies into FDA probe over ‘teen vaping’

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the direction of Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is targeting another 21 vape companies for its recently launched probe into teen vaping.  Distributed by the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), this latest series of letters follows a previous 5 letters sent just last month on September 12 to Juul, Vuse, MarkTen XL, Blu and Logic 60.

Each of the now-26 vaping retailers must provide information to the FDA on how they plan to curtail underage vaping and sales in the future.   The FDA is also demanding evidence of the companies’ prior marketing campaigns along with other federally-required documentation related to commercial distribution.  The announcement came via an FDA press release entitled CPT Letters to Industry where each individual letter is available for public viewing.  The latest 21 vape companies include the following.

  • Letter to American Vapor LLC
  • Letter to Baton LLC
  • Letter to Black Mountain Fulfillment LLC
  • ECS Global LLC
  • Eonsmoke LLC
  • Fontem USA Inc.
  • Kandypens Inc.
  • Kretek International Inc.
  • Logic Technology Development, LLC
  • Magellan Technology Inc.
  • Maja Flava Vape Den
  • MMS ECVD Distribution LLC
  • Myle Vape Inc.
  • Reynolds American Inc.
  • Sutra Vape
  • SV3 LLC
  • Vertigo Vapor LLC
  • VGOD Inc.
  • VMR Products LLC
  • Xfire Inc.
  • ZLab S.A.

Each of the 21 recipients has only 30-days to respond to the FDA.  The original 5 recipients from September 12 were given a 60-day deadline.  So, theoretically, the entire FDA probe should wrap up in a month.  If this mathematical strategy is correct, then the chances of a third wave of CTP warning letters being sent in the future appears unlikely.  But this is the FDA.  There is nothing stopping Gottlieb from creating another anti-vaping probe of similar kind in the coming months. 

Related Article:  Citing teen vaping as an ‘epidemic,’ FDA Chief Scott Gottlieb launches investigation

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FDA Chief Scott Gottlieb has ‘lost his mind’ over vaping, says ex-Trump aid

Under the direction of Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been on a slow and steady attack against the American vaping industry in recent years.  When Republican Donald Trump first won the presidency, many vaping advocates were hopefully optimistic that the Obama-era deeming regulations would soon be repealed.   Instead, the new head of the FDA has seemingly decided to kick things up a notch or two, and at least one ex-Trump official thinks Chief Gottlieb has essentially lost his mind in the process.

The tide against vaping began to take a significant turn for the worse when the FDA released a September 12 press announcement blasting teen vaping as a national “epidemic.”  Throughout 2018, Gottlieb and his agency has been actively trying to convince e-liquid and vape technology manufacturers to self-regulate their marketing strategies towards a less kid-appealing format.   Gottlieb has even tweeted thinly-veiled threats, and anti-vaping groups like The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids have been saturating mainstream, print, and social media with anti-vaping misinformation for at least the past two-years.

The recent FDA press announcement makes clear that Gottlieb is not impressed with the vaping industry’s attempts to self-regulate. Besides calling teen vaping a national epidemic, he also announced that some 1,100 vape-related retailers will be or have received warning letters from the FDA regarding underage sales.  Another 131 establishments have even received financial penalties. 

American vaping industry under unyielding attack by FDA

Following the September 12 press release, Gottlieb himself hit the cable news networks promoting a new anti-vaping campaign funded by his agency, appearing in printed restroom advertisements in high school bathrooms, and going viral across multiple social media platforms.  Gottlieb scheduled appearances on as any news network that would have him, including CNBC’s Squawk Box and Fox News.

Then in late September, the FDA Commissioner appeared on C-Span2 at an Axios-hosted event.  It was at this opportunity where he made the alarming proclamation that the FDA was not only considering a ban of the sales of flavored e-liquids, but the agency was also considering banning the online sales of all vaping products in general.  Theoretically, this online ban would include everything from vape mods to coils and everything in between.

Related Article:  September 2018: Online vape sales bans, flavor bans, and Trump Tariffs, oh my!

In the midst of this Gottlieb-inspired political discourse, an ex-Trump official named that Matt Braynard appears to have spotted one of these televised, anti-vaping rants.  During an interview on The Hill TV, the former Data Strategist for Donald Trump took the bold move of verbally pummeling Commissioner Gottlieb while simultaneously promoting a strong and aggressive stance in favor of vaping.

“What the FDA chief is proposing here — Scott Gottlieb — is not to, say, limit teenagers from being able to buy this, it’s not educating people it might be harmful but to banning it entirely for everybody including adults, which seems to me that he has lost his mind.”
“(FDA commissioner Gottlieb) is formerly of the AEI [American Enterprise Institute], a very free market institute, and if he just consulted with his former doctor and AEI scholars…who have written extensively on the minimal risks of these nicotine vape products compared to cigarettes – which are incredibly dangerous and have been killing people for over 100 years, (he) would understand that banning this product from the market wholesale will have tremendous costs.  There is great risk reduction by allowing these products on the market.”

While Mr. Braynard’s comments are truly appreciated by many vaping enthusiasts and activists across the nation, there are currently no signs of Chief Gottlieb slowing down on his anti-vaping rhetoric.  His primary grudge seems to be against the Juul organization, but the entire American vaping industry is paying the price.

Just days ago, FDA investigators conducted a surprise raid of the Juul offices in San Francisco.  Meanwhile, CNBC is reporting that the Juul company is now demanding that the U.S. international Trade Commission step in and stop Chinese companies from manufacturing and marketing similar vaping devices that “blatantly emulate the distinctive design” of Juul technology. 

Related Article: FDA raids Juul offices; seizes thousands of documents on kid-friendly marketing

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

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Michael J. Fox Foundation calls for more research into nicotine therapies for Parkinson’s Disease

The world-famous actor Michael J. Fox of television fame and the Back to the Future movie franchise is one of millions of Americans currently living with Parkinson’s disease. This disorder of the nervous system usually advances gradually over the span of many years through five different stages of progression much like cancer.

Stage One typically begins with the onset of slight tremors and irregular movements occurring on one side of the body and with certain facial expressions.  Stage Five, the most debilitating phase, can prevent the patient from moving one’s legs and arms, eating, and perhaps even breathing without the assistance of a machine.  People in Stage Five might even begin developing hallucinations and delusions while requiring round-the-clock care.

Related Article: Secret benefits of nicotine that FDA e-cig regulations want to hide

Parkinson’s Disease can strike almost anyone regardless of age or ethnicity.  Michael J. Fox was diagnosed at the young age of 29 while he was filming the movie Doc Hollywood.  In 1998, he made his diagnosis public and immediately jumped into Parkinson’s advocacy.  Shortly thereafter, he launched the Michael J. Fox Foundation with a singular mission of helping to advance scientific research in the effort to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

People don’t die ‘from’ Parkinson’s.  They die ‘with’ Parkinson’s.

In the early days of the organization, the Michael J. Fox Foundation was focusing primarily on stem-cell research as a possible cure, but today its administration is endorsing several areas of medical exploration simultaneously.  One of the more controversial involves nicotine therapies as a potential resource for slowing down the progression of Parkinson’s or perhaps reversing its effects entirely.

“And there’s still much to learn about possible biological connections between nicotine and PD. To date, most human-based data around nicotine and Parkinson’s has been purely epidemiological, says Maurizio Facheris, MD, MSc. This means that there might be other ways to describe the relationship between nicotine and PD that aren’t ‘brain chemically-based.
Here’s one such example of how epidemiological data can return scientific twists and turns: A past study from Matthew Menza, MD, found that people with PD tend to be less likely on the whole to be ‘novelty-seekers,’ possibly because they have less dopamine in the brain (dopamine might inspire people to be more likely to seek out emotional stimuli). These individuals were also more likely to see smoking as a bad idea. On the other hand, the study found, ‘novelty-seekers’ were more likely to take risks such as smoking, and they were also less likely to develop Parkinson’s. In short: Maybe those who are in the early stages of PD are just less likely to smoke because of how their brains are wired.”

The Michael J. Fox Foundation has been actively calling for more research into the areas of nicotine therapies for over five years now, but to be clear, Mr. Fox and his organization are absolutely not suggesting that people diagnosed with Parkinson’s should immediately take up smoking.  Instead, they are encouraging scientists to conduct more studies involving transdermal, intravenous, and perhaps vaping applications for medicinal nicotine alternative therapies.  While most agree that more research is still required, the journal Medical News Today published a similar opinion as recently as 2016. 

Related Article: The science of vaping: Study shows nicotine may have anti-aging effects on the brain

 (Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

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Michael J. Fox Foundation calls for more research into nicotine therapies for Parkinson’s Disease

Micheal J Fox Foundation calls for more research into #nicotine therapies for #ParkinsonsDisease
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research #vaping #vapes #vapescom #vape #ecig #ecigs #vapor #propyleneglycol #vapeon #vapenation #vapedaily #vapefamily #vapefam #vapelife #vapelyfe #zamplebox
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