Translations:Nicotine / THR - Change the Conversation/19/en

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  • Written By: Eric N. Lindblom, Senior Scholar, O’Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Lindblom was director of the Office of Policy at FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products from 2011 to 2014.
  • Mark Gunther’s article on Bloomberg’s funding of efforts to prevent youth e-cigarette use did a good job presenting the current conflicts in the public-health community about e-cigarettes and how best to regulate them. But it did not suggest any ways those conflicts might be resolved or, perhaps, made less important.
  • Given the common, overriding goal of reducing tobacco-nicotine deaths and harms as quickly as possible, there are many new tobacco-control policies that all sides of the e-cigarette conflict should be able to agree on and actively support.
  • Even those arguing for stronger restrictions on e-cigarettes could at a minimum agree that government tax and price measures should not make e-cigarettes more expensive than smoked tobacco products.
  • Another possible consensus antismoking strategy might not raise any significant conflicts, even if it were extended to e-cigarettes (or to all tobacco products). That is requiring that all tobacco products be sold only in adult-only sales outlets.
  • To promote switching from smoking to vaping (without any downside risks), even those opposing an e-cigarette harm-reduction approach should also be able to agree that all sales outlets that sell smoked tobacco products should be required to offer e-cigarettes, as well (but not vice versa).