If you have been following the vaping news lately, you know that the whole ecig world is waiting with baited breath to see what the FDA’s next move will be with electronic cigarette regulations. Apparently, things are still up in the air for regulators and now the FDA is hosting yet another workshop to discuss the scientific and medical ramifications of ecigs. This week, the FDA officially announced the workshop will take place December 10-11 and there is an open invitation for vapers, scientists, medical professionals, and otherwise interested parties to attend.
While the workshop will cover multiple topics including labeling, packaging, and environmental concerns, the main objective is to discuss the scientific data that pertains to ecigs. Researchers and medical professionals will have an opportunity to present their findings and then there will be formal discussion of the pros and cons of electronic cigarettes for public health.
It seems like an important next step towards regulations, but the FDA said the opinions expressed in the workshop will actually have no impact on the regulatory decisions. It really makes it seem almost pointless to host a workshop unless they only want to promote their own agenda before rolling out regulations. “This is the first of a planned series of workshops intended to obtain information on e-cigarettes and the public health. The information presented and discussed during the workshop series is not intended to inform the agency’s rule making related to deeming additional products to be subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act,” the announcement said.
There is no way to know for sure whether ecig supporters will have a fair chance at the workshop. In previous similar events, the FDA was quick to ask nearly impossible questions of vapers or small start-up companies. They are also famous for stocking expert panels with their own people to express views that they have previously approved (or possibly even suggested).
If you want to attend the December event, you must register online or by mail no later than November 25th. You can get all the details on the workshop and find out how to send in your registration here. Is this workshop a total waste of time for vaping supporters or could it actually be a good chance to stand up for your right to use electronic cigarettes without regulatory interference?