Bloomberg Businessweek

A Big U-Turn On Vaping

The Trump administration gave e-cigarette makers room to grow—then reports of vaping’s risks began to emerge

Something was buried in the press release the U.S. Food and Drug Administration put out on July 27, 2017. The agency was making an historic announcement: the initiation of “a multi-year roadmap to better protect kids and significantly reduce tobacco-related disease and death.” It quoted FDA then-Commissioner Scott Gottlieb: “Unless we change course, 5.6 million young people today will die prematurely later in life from tobacco use.” While focusing on combustible cigarettes that deliver nicotine via smoke particles, the FDA recognized that e-cigarettes needed regulation as well. In the seventh paragraph, it announced coming “revised timelines” that would require e-cigarette makers to apply for approval by Aug. 8, 2022—a long extension from the then-existing FDA deadline of August 2018. “The

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