On February 21st, Senator Ron Johnson continued his support for the vape industry by writing a letter to Tom Price urging him to consider suspending the FDA’s e-cig rule. Tom Price has been appointed by the Trump administration as the Health and Human Services Secretary.
Ron Johnson’s letter discussed the economic damage that the FDA’S rules will cause and also the harm to public health that will result of making vapor products inaccessible to people who want to use them as an alternative to smoking.
If you’re wondering why this important, it’s because the HHS oversees big government agencies, most notably in this case, the FDA. Tom Price has a lot of influence over how the FDA will operate moving forward.
He also has a background that could mean he would be likely to save the vapor industry.
For one, he voted against a law that required the FDA to regulate tobacco as a drug.
Tom Price also has a history of being pro-tobacco. He has voted against tobacco legislation, he has accepted donations from big tobacco, and he just recently sold off stock that he had in tobacco companies. He’s certainly not anti-tobacco.
The concerning thing here though is that we know that big tobacco would love to kill the vaping industry – or at least everything other than the closed-tank systems that they sell. We’ll just have to see if Big Tobacco has any influence over Tom Price’s decisions or if instead he’ll support the vaping industry in the same way he has tobacco.
Also somewhat questionable is that he is a physician and orthopedic surgeon and has been for more than 20 years. As a doctor in the United States, a place where most of the medical community thinks of vaping as unsafe as smoking, it’s hard to know what his stance will be.
Hopefully he speaks further with Ron Johnson and in the end is in favor of electronic cigarettes. As of now, it looks like Tom Price is exactly who the vaping industry wants in charge of the FDA.