NO SMOKING - Yes You Can Says Federal Judge

The new electronic cigarette now carries the stamp of approval from a federal judge.

Jan 22, 2010, 06:18 ET from E Cigarettes Choice

COLLEYVILLE, Texas, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- On Thursday, January 14th, Federal U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon sided with electronic cigarette makers as he criticized what he called the FDA's "tenacious drive to maximize its regulatory power," saying he found its interpretation of the law "unreasonable and unacceptable" in his 32 page opinion. "This case appears to be yet another example of F.D.A.'s aggressive efforts to regulate recreational tobacco products as drugs or devices," Judge Leon wrote.

Over the last year, the FDA had been unlawfully seizing shipments of e-cigarettes coming into the U.S. and engaging in a smear campaign by releasing misleading information regarding the safety of e-cigarettes, while giving tobacco cigarettes that kill tens of thousands of Americans each year a pass.

The questionable actions by the FDA provided ammunition for several states to file suit against electronic cigarette manufacturers and add e-cigarettes into smoking ban laws even though there was no evidence the vapor emitted was harmful to bystanders. A driving force behind the FDA challenge may have been self-interest anti-smoking groups and politicians that may be funded in part by the makers of smoking cessation products that could lose market share to the e-cigarette.

Kyle Newton of in Southlake, Texas was elated by the ruling. They distribute the No.7 e-cigarette brand here in the U.S. and worldwide. "We were in limbo for months waiting on Judge Leon to make a decision. Now that it's here, Yes We Can..... start our expansion plans immediately and create some new jobs this country desperately needs."

E-cigarettes are battery operated devices that allow users to inhale nicotine vapor without producing the harmful secondhand smoke generated by tobacco cigarettes. As Kyle puts it, "The e cigarette is not a stop smoking device. It is a smoking replacement product which allows the user to select the nicotine level." Last year the FDA issued warnings on one well know brand because of the serious side effects that had been reported. At a time in history where the use of deadly tobacco is higher than ever and anti-smoking policies are spreading, the e-cigarette has entered the market as the most promising alternative to date. Several prominent doctors and tobacco researchers, including Dr. Michael Siegel at the Boston University School of Public Health, Dr. Joel Nitzkin of the AAPHP Tobacco Control Task Force, and Dr. Brad Rodu, Endowed Chair, Tobacco Harm Reduction Research University of Louisville, have chastised the FDA's for their misleading tactics.

E-cigarettes are widely used and approved in the United Kingdom. In fact, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) in the United Kingdom issued this statement last year....

"Most of the diseases associated with smoking are caused by inhaling smoke which contains thousands of toxic chemicals. By contrast, nicotine is relatively safe. Therefore, e-cigarettes, which deliver nicotine without the harmful toxins found in tobacco smoke, are likely to be a safer alternative to smoking. In addition, e-cigarettes reduce secondhand smoke exposure since they do not produce smoke."

On this side of the big pond, ASH in the USA has hammered the electronic cigarette industry unmercifully with public claims against the product. But, throughout this entire finger pointing parade, they have failed to produce any scientific research which tested the electronic cigarette and found it to be harmful to the public. One would think that if it were truly their mission to protect consumers, ASH, USA would spend a few dollars to test the e-cigarette to prove their point. Unfortunately the era of good investigative journalists is a thing of the past as today's reporters continue to be pawns of the self interest groups and repeat the misleading claims they hawk.

Rather than embracing a product that appears to be a much better alternative to the tobacco cigarette, there are those who vigorously oppose them. Why the vast difference in opinion on e-cigarettes between the U.K. and the USA? All the big pharmaceutical companies that produce smoking cessation products and the major tobacco companies are not headquartered in the U.K. The government there is not as likely to be hurt by the loss in revenue the U.S. could face from this new product.

It appears that state legislators may be more interested in protecting their tobacco tax revenue than allowing their constituents to use a less harmful substitute to give users "the nicotine hit that smokers crave." State revenue generated from tobacco sales tax and settlement funds provided by past tobacco lawsuits were supposed to be used by the states to offset healthcare losses. Records show that most states use the money for other pet projects while a very small portion is actually spent for the intended addiction that is harder to break than the nicotine habit itself. Lobbyists and government agencies will continue to fight this product like deranged crack addicts to protect their dependency on the tax dollars generated by the sale of traditional cigarettes.

It may be impossible to get the anti-smoking organizations and politicians-for-hire on board with the e-cigarette since their resistance may also be tied to their addictive funding from the makers of smoking and smoking cessation products. A better alternative to smoking tobacco does not appear to be their priority or they would be partnering with the e-cigarette industry to gain acceptance and the proper regulation without the out right ban some are calling for.

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