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Reasons why U.S. fruit and mint flavored e-cigarettes should not be banned?

Dr. Yang Aoyu, the legal team of Zheng Mingwei of Beijing Bank of China (Shenzhen) Law Firm, participated in the online meeting on the formulation of the 5-year strategic plan held by the US FDA Tobacco Products Center from 10:00 pm Beijing time on August 22, 2023 to 3:30 am on the 23rd. Go to the hearing and published two comments on the “Federal Notice”. The second comment submitted to the FDA mainly revolves around flavoring (fruit, ice cream and other flavors, the same below), and menthol e-cigarettes should not be rashly prohibited from expressing opinions .

Most of the 5.5-hour hearing on August 22 was about whether flavored and menthol e-cigarettes should be banned.

Most non-profit organizations, university research centers, medical research institutions, medical professionals, and parents agree that flavored and menthol e-cigarettes should be banned because they appeal to young people and endanger public health. Some research institutions and medical researchers have provided research reports and survey reports, indicating that due to the addictive nature of nicotine, flavored e-cigarettes and menthol e-cigarettes pose health risks to young people. Only black people and the police do not support a ban on flavored, menthol e-cigarettes. (For details, see “Shenzhen Lawyers Participate in the FDA Regulatory Conference and Comment on Regulatory Relief for E-cigarette Enterprises”)

Zheng Mingwei’s team believes in the comments submitted to the FDA that these studies have obvious logical loopholes. For example, the 4-year study conducted from 2014 to 2017 by Dr. John Pierce, a professor of public health, for his article “Use of E-cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products and Advances in Daily Smoking” was not only short in time but small in sample size. , and since the study cannot accurately reflect the situation of rapidly changing e-cigarette products, it is doubtful whether it can be used as a reference for decision-making in 2023.

The question FDA really wants to study should be the long-term substitution effect, namely: 1. Whether flavored and menthol e-cigarettes are less harmful than traditional cigarettes; 2. If Article 1 is established, whether flavored and menthol e-cigarettes make more Smokers continue to use e-cigarettes without eventually switching to traditional cigarettes, or make old smokers use e-cigarettes as a complete or partial substitute for traditional cigarettes. So far, there is no strong evidence of the impact or substitution effect of flavored, menthol e-cigarettes on young users in the next 5 to 10 years, that is, there is a lack of research on the long-term substitution effect of e-cigarettes.

I once remembered that in the field of mobile phones, there have been various studies on the harm of mobile phone radiation to the human body. Some of these studies were funded by mobile phone manufacturers, and some of the studies produced results that were beneficial to mobile phone manufacturers. At present, Chinese e-cigarette companies are also qualified to support similar research. Initiating this type of research, on the one hand, gives the FDA more reasons to respond to various pressures. The FDA may not make a final decision on flavored and menthol e-cigarettes, and e-cigarette companies will have a window to continue selling; on the other hand, once the long-term research conclusion is right Flavored e-cigarettes are beneficial, and eventually a research report will be formed against other research reports.

Judging from the current research practices of various countries, there are various voices. Most of the research reports in the UK are beneficial to the sales of e-cigarettes, which has affected government decision-making and made the UK the second largest e-cigarette market in the world. In the same way, research on the long-term substitution effect of e-cigarettes in the United States deserves the attention, support and participation of Chinese e-cigarette companies.

Conversely, once the US FDA bans flavored and menthol e-cigarettes, it is expected that the export sales of Chinese e-cigarette companies will drop precipitously, and the United States will affect the policy decisions of other countries. The resulting damage would outweigh the cost of supporting the research.


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