At the Open Standard, writer Greg Brown looks at the divide between open, refillable vapor products and purportedly non-refillable, sealed e-cigarette products. Brown also examines how Big Tobacco company Reynolds American / R.J. Reynolds is pushing the FDA to ban all e-liquids and open system products.
“There are 40 million American smokers right now, [and] about half of them are going to die from a smoking-related disease. There is a clear need for an alternative product,” said Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, a trade group for the open vapor product industry in Medford, NJ.
Conley speaks from experience. He began smoking at 14 and quit at 23, remaining tobacco-free for four years now, he says. He credits e-cigs for helping him kick the habit, likening them to programs such as needle exchanges for drug addicts. “Cigarettes and obesity are our leading causes of death,” he said. “There’s no reason smokers shouldn’t have this option, as long as they are legal.”
With regard to Reynolds, Brown continues:
The maker of Camels went so far as to ask the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban open systems, calling them “unique public health risks” because of their lack of regulation. The FDA began overseeing tobacco and tobacco marketing in 2009, a quizzical place for the agency since it cannot ban tobacco sales outright, despite the documented health risks.