Cigarettes without nicotine
Not the e-cigarettes, but the smoking of tobacco, the US health authority now targets. The only question is whether the evaporators do not encourage the youth to smoke. Originally there should be new, restrictive rules for the e-cigarettes. Now, however, Scott Gottlieb, the new head of the US health authority FDA, announced quite different measures at the end of July. Gottlieb, himself a medical expert, took the evaporators out of focus and instead focused on conventional cigarettes - but above all on their addictive potential. According to The New York Times, Gottlieb and the FDA want to reduce the nicotine in conventional tobacco products.
Gottlieb has in mind the 480,000 country people whose death is caused annually by the harmful combustion of the cigarettes. For this reason, the FDA boss intends to lower the nicotine level to such an extent that the addictive factor disappears. Obendrein, he sees an alternative in the evaporators. With them, addicts can consume nicotine without having to burn tobacco. Gottlieb believes that the health risk is lower. This is an assessment supported by scientific research, such as the cross-sectional study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine at the beginning of the year.
At the same time, Gottlieb encouraged the producers of the heating systems to establish contact with the FDA. Their evaporators could also be approved as auxiliary instruments for smoking cessation. Other health representatives had rejected the devices in the past as a gateway for a nicotine and pioneer for the consumption of cigarettes. The direction which Gottlieb was now taking was acknowledged by stock exchanges for the tobacco companies.
Nevertheless, the new direction of the FDA can be judged to be ambivalent. For even the FDA boss sees the use of evaporators in the case of children and adolescents critical. That is why Gottlieb wants to regulate, among other things, those tastes which are primarily created for the young target group. A corresponding campaign launched the FDA in early August. It says that more than two million middle and upper school students are regular users of e-cigarettes and similar equipment. However, while adult smokers are deliberately touted this less harmful alternative to conventional cigarettes, Gottlieb wants to keep all tobacco products from the children's hands.
So it is a tightrope walk, which the FDA has gone to. The medical newspaper also explicitly points out the fine distinction between the US health authority between e-cigarettes and other "tabaker heater systems". The German website concludes that "the authority does not put the e-steam on a par with the more innovative solutions when it comes to the issue of exit aid". Even among experts, the e-cigarette as a changeover to the exit was controversial. There are therefore considerable doubts as to whether Gottlieb will achieve the desired goal with this balancing act. Maybe he makes the nicotine through the vaporizers even more so. For the addictive potential of the substance remains undisputed.