Did Corruption Play a Role in the FDA’s Ability to Create New E-Cigarette Regulations?

The Food and Drug Administration is trying its best to regulate e-cigarettes and the vaping industry as a whole right now, and it could end up having devastating consequences on all of the vape shops out there that specialize in selling e-cigs, e-liquids, and more. The FDA recently created a rule book that is nearly 500 pages long in an effort to force the vaping industry to follow many of the same guidelines as the tobacco industry, and there’s a good chance that it will prove to be catastrophic for many vape shops.

Vape Shop Regulations

The FDA wants to force these shops to do extensive testing on every single product that they sell, and unfortunately, the cost of testing them could end up being too much for most businesses to handle. At the very least, shops will have to shell out several hundred thousand dollars to do testing on a single product, and in some cases, it would likely cost over $1,000,000 per sku (each nicotine content has its own SKU)! Industry experts predict it could drive more than 10,000 vape shops out of business in the coming months and years.

While some people are celebrating the regulations, there are many, both inside and outside of the vaping community who are upset with the way the FDA is handling their business right now. Specifically, many people believe that corruption played a large part in the FDA being able to create their rule book in the first place, and there are some reports that money may have exchanged hands during the process of the FDA trying to regulate e-cigarettes and the vaping industry.

FDA secret money exhange

According to one report published by The Daily Caller back in May, there is a group of Democratic senators who congratulated the FDA for cracking down on e-cigarettes by writing a letter to the agency. “We commend the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for finalizing the deeming rule that extends FDA regulatory authority to include all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars, and pipe tobacco,” the letter said, “to protect the public’s health—and especially the health of young Americans—from the harmful effects of tobacco.”

The Daily Caller found a handful of these Democratic senators—including Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (California), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (New York), Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vermont), Sen. Jack Reed (Rhode Island), Sen. Tom Udall (New Mexico), and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (Rhode Island)—all accepted donations totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars from a handful of pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and CVS Health over the last few years.

Vape politicians money

This could potentially be problematic because those pharmaceutical companies specialize in creating products like nicotine gum and patches that are often viewed as competitors to e-cigarettes. So the thought is that, by accepting donations from “Big Pharma” while supporting the FDA in their regulation of the vaping industry, corruption could be at play.

Some politicians may essentially be throwing their support behind the FDA’s new vaping regulations simply because they are being paid by large pharmaceutical companies to do it and not because they think it’s what best for the American people.

And that isn’t the only thing that opponents of the FDA’s new regulations find problematic. Back in 2015, President Obama nominated Dr. Robert Califf to be the new commissioner of the FDA. According to Time, he had previously served as the FDA’s deputy commissioner for medical products and tobacco, and he is a cardiologist who is known for being an excellent researcher.

But one thing that has concerned many people ever since he was appointed commissioner of the FDA is that, in the past, he has had financial ties to many large medical device and drug companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Amgen, AstraZeneca, and more—and this seems to create a clear conflict of interest.

There’s no clear-cut evidence to suggest that would act in favor of pharmaceutical companies when it comes to e-cigarette regulations, but the fact that he has ties to those companies worries some people.

Dr. Califf FDA Vaping

It’s why some Republicans like Sen. Ron Johnson from Wisconsin have sought answers from the FDA with regards to their new regulations. Johnson and many others are wondering why these “burdensome and costly” regulations were put into place and want the FDA to be more transparent about the process.

From the outside looking in, it appears as though the big tobacco companies, pharmaceutical companies, and some politicians worked together to make the FDA regulations a reality when they aren’t necessarily going to protect the people who buy and sell e-cigarettes and the products that are associated with them.

Sadly, this is not the first time that the FDA has been accused of being a corrupt organization. Back in 2013, an article that was published in the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics laid out evidence that suggested that about 90 percent of all new drugs that were approved by the FDA over the last three decades were as effective as the drugs that were already on the market at the time.

The report also suggested that prescription drugs are one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. and that, unfortunately, pharmaceutical companies making large contributions to those serving in Congress was resulting in a large number of ineffective and, in some cases, dangerous drugs getting approved by the FDA. And this is just one example of the FDA being accused of being corrupt.

In recent weeks, the outrageous prices of some prescription drugs have also been a hot topic with experts speculating about what role corruption plays in the marked-up prices of these drugs. It has cast the FDA and pharmaceutical companies in a negative light.

Epi Pen cost per Vaping

Does this mean that FDA corruption is definitely to blame for the new e-cigarette regulations? Of course not. But it does mean that, given the FDA’s recent history, it would likely be wise to question whether or not there was some connection between FDA corruption and the regulations.

It could help change the perception of e-cigarettes around the nation and make people take a second look at the FDA’s decision to place such a heavy burden on the vaping industry by creating a rule book that is probably going to end up doing far more harm than good.

10 thoughts on “Did Corruption Play a Role in the FDA’s Ability to Create New E-Cigarette Regulations?

  1. Mary says:

    I absolutely believe the FDA ruling. is a direct result the influence of big tobacco companies, pharmaceutical companies, and politicians who may stand to profit. FDA regulations are supposed to protect us, but this decision does anything but and will ultimately harm us. How many people will return to tobacco cigarettes once the vaping industry is over-regulated? How many more people will suffer from the additives in cigarettes and the health and financial consequences associated? Who stands to gain anything except big tobacco and big pharma? I smoked for 30+ years and couldn’t quit until I tried vaping. Haven’t had a tobacco cigarette for 4 years and every time I’ve seen a DR they have all made the statement “you don’t smoke do you?” To me, that says it all! Keep fighting vapers!

  2. Jeff says:

    To make the charge that because an official worked in or had some ties to an industry portends corruption seems rather specious. After all I personally want an oil exec in charge of energy policy because he knows where the bodies are buried. ( and how to find them) Having said that, the political benefit of playing the kid card for the ignorant voter and the dollars involved in the settlement agreement with the states seems to be all one would need to determine where and how these political bodies are motivated. With the mounting evidence against the abolishonists, I fully expect that a pivotal moment is upon us and will occur when a politician claims victory with the aid of the vaping community

  3. Steve says:

    Yes, money is all that matters. Vapors created a new industry that cut into big pharmacy and tobacco. They own politicians, so they make the rules. Vape shops and small businesses in u.s. will be phased out.only large companies will remain. You will see massive unemployment, poverty and starvation, as government over reaches and puts small businesses and innovation out of business, all for greed. It is sad. Our govermen no longer works for us. We are sheep, and mean nothing. Those in power only think about today, and their own wealth. Occasionally throwing a bone to get votes. As a country, we shall decline without letting people use their drive and innovation in small business. It is so frustrating. Nothing will change until there is mass poverty, and people get desperate. Then, God help this country if people rise up. The politicians have to think about this.

  4. Joe says:

    Perhaps because they know that vaping works over their crappy pharmaceutical solutions to quit smoking and that it is slowing the growth they aspire to have? Maybe it’s more about the fears of the pharmaceutical industry and those states that are betting on their money from the old tobacco settlement thing than it is the actual tobacco companies themselves? Of course, I’m not saying that big tobacco doesn’t have something to do with this but maybe they are the lesser of those evils? It is just sad that we’ve let this country get to this level of greed and corruption. It’s not going to get any better unless we start with term limits for congress and start thinking outside the box that are the norms of the current state of the democrat and republican party. The government needs to stop spending billions and trillions trying to protect us from ourselves and parent our children.

    • Mark Cordy says:

      Exactly Joe,
      I am almost 58. I started smoking in the breakroom of a grocery store back when they used big paper bags (barrel bags) for your groceries. Over the years I tried (in no particular order) Zyban, patches, gum, hypnosis, acupuncture…i started vaping and threw away an opened box of camel special lights…and haven’t smoked in over two years. I now no longer get bronchitis, ear infections,sinus infections, and can jog for miles without a hack attack (as well as regaining my libido).
      The fact that the government wants to wipe this out is nothing short of mind boggling.

  5. Margaret Hermon says:

    The Nicotine Replacement Therapies – gums, patches, sprays etc – are just chicken-feed to the Pharma Giants; it’s the loss of the endless supply of patients with respiratory disease that really threatens them. The thought of no more patients with smoking-related lung cancers must keep them awake nights because those are the really expensive treatments, the mother-lode of profit. Drug companies don’t make a red cent out of healthy people, so why would they support something which has freed millions of us from a killer habit? They will do whatever it takes to protect their profits and keep smokers smoking – as an asthma and COPD sufferer this makes me so angry but at least it’s almost seven years since I last smoked and my drugs have taken a massive cut. I quit overnight with an e-cig after 60+ years of a pack a day habit.

  6. Malik says:

    We definitely need to call for an investigation into the motives behind the FDA ruling. Many of us vapers have long suspected of payoffs of FDA officials and senators leading up to the ruling (along with other Federal agencies).

  7. Tony says:

    I’m not surprised at the very least. The problem is that there is so much corruption, foul play, back door handshakes – all of the industrialists, politicians and everyone else who makes up Big Business and Big Government continually partake in Cronyism – Basically, the entire system of capitalism has failed us – it is no longer a “Free Market” – small businesses everywhere are being systematically dismantled by Crony Capitalism. Our political system and economic system have corrupted one another. There are only so many seats at the table of the ruling class and we’re not invited. Vaping simply has stirred up the system so much, helping millions, that the most powerful few who control this system do not benefit from it and they will do anything in their power to stop it from flourishing – negatively affecting millions. This country has lost sight of what is important and it is becoming outlandish. The biggest problem is that the FDA basically answers to no one. We could try to get Congress to reverse its decision on allowing the FDA to regulate Vaping and that would be awesome, but it may be nearly impossible. Unless every single vaper stops arguing from within and stands together to march on Washington DC in peaceful unison – then there may be no end in sight except for very far down the road. We need better leadership in the Vaping community! Who is capable of this?

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