For a long time now, the USA and the UK have followed similar trends, with many of our cultures influencing theirs, and vice versa. But with President Trump’s election of Scott Gottlieb to be the next commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), we may see his choices regarding vaping devices to have a knock on effect here in the UK.
Of course, the most important question we’ll have is simple. Will Gottlieb be a good force for vaping, or will he signal a difficult time for the community? Well one very positive note is that he understands some of the issues that the vaping community faces, having published content surrounding them in 2013. In that instance, he wrote an article for Forbes that correctly identified some of the issues at the Centre for Tobacco Products (CTP). He described the FDA tobacco centre, the Family Smoking Prevention and the Tobacco Control Act (TCA) that created it as being ‘precariously balanced between fulfilling its mandate to encourage the production of reduced-harm products and satisfying the anti-tobacco zealots whose influence has grown since the TCA passed’.
His awareness of the issues at hand is reassuring to the community, and his disapproval of the anti-tobacco crowd is correct. Such people are determined to ensure vaping does not become a strong method of smoking within the wider community, and says that ‘activists have managed to infiltrate the middle ranks of the agency’s centre’, which indicates he will hopefully be an advocate of the importance and positive intentions that the vaping community have.
To conclude, Scott Gottlieb’s appointment as the commissioner of the FDA should hopefully be a positive signal for the community. His awareness of the issues that are faced by the vaping community, and his apparent sympathy should be beneficial to ensuring some of the stigma is cleared, and the hopefully optimistic opinions will find their way over to the UK as well.
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