Opinion writers weigh in on vaping’s impact on health.
The New York Times: Have We Hit Peak Vape Panic?
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer risked triggering a run on college convenience stores Wednesday when she announced that Michigan would become the first state to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. Days after the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported a “vaping crisis among youth,” created by manufacturers luring young people into addiction to their potentially harmful products, Ms. Whitmer invoked her emergency powers. “We can’t wait on Washington, D.C.,” she said on MSNBC. “We have to take action right now.” (Spencer Bokat-Kindell, 9/5)
USA Today: Unregulated Vaping Spawns New Nicotine Addicts. Now Vapers Are Dying.
When e-cigarettes were introduced a decade ago, the battery-operated nicotine inhalers that don’t burn tobacco were seen as a means of helping smokers quit. This premise remained unproven, even as vaping devices started to flood the American market. The effect of long-term use also remains unknown. Despite authority granted by Congress in 2009, the Obama administration didn’t extend Food and Drug Administration oversight to electronic cigarettes until 2016, and the Trump administration gave vaping device manufacturers until 2022 to comply. (9/6)
The Hill: San Francisco Banning Flavored E-Cigarettes Is A Model For The Nation
In June of 2019, Mayor London Breed signed an ordinance effective January 2020 to suspend the sales and distribution in San Francisco of electronic cigarettes that have not undergone premarket review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This legislation by Supervisor Shamann Walton and unanimously approved by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors represents a logical and powerful public policy strategy to enforce the law. (John Maa and Jeffrey Wigand, 9/5)
The New York Times: We Still Don’t Know How Safe Vaping Is
Health officials have identified one potential cause of the mysterious vaping-related illness that has sickened more than 200 people and claimed at least two lives: vitamin E acetate, an oil found in some marijuana-based vaping products. But there’s still a lot they don’t know. Are other adulterants also involved? Does a combination of vaping ingredients, or the use of a certain vaping device, increase the likelihood of falling ill? Parents have been anxious, as many patients so far have been teenagers and young adults. (9/5)
USA Today: Vaping Oversight Is A Top Concern: HHS, FDA, CDC
As three of the nation’s leading public health officials, we are deeply concerned about the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use, and we are using every tool we have to protect the public, especially kids, from tobacco-related disease and death. Any opportunity for electronic cigarettes to serve as an off-ramp for individual addicted adult cigarette smokers must not come at the expense of children. We’ll take every step necessary to prevent these products from becoming an on-ramp to nicotine addiction for a generation of youth. (Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex M. Azar II, acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration Ned Sharpless and Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Robert Redfield, 9/5)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.