written by Kenneth Wegorowski June 16, 2018

The US government Food & Drug Administration is seeking feedback regarding proposed regulations on flavors used in the overly broad category called “Tobacco Products”.

This term is rather unfair as it lumps in so called “e-cigarettes” which barely function like a real cigarette in terms of health concerns.

Their concern is in the typical government over regulation hovering way but this time regarding the flavoring used in these “e-cigarettes” which really should be commonly and officially described not as cigarettes but as vaporizers, like Vicks vaporizer.

They want to stop the promotion and availability of grape, berry, fruity tooty, and all sorts of flavors in these vaporizers.

I wrote this as my comment submitted on June 15, 2018:

I am against regulating the flavors in Tobacco Products especially in vaporizing or what is usually called “e-cigarettes”. Vaporizing of liquids with flavor for inhalation or “puffing” without inhaling is so massively different than tobacco that is burned and more routinely fully inhaled and these restrictions on flavors should not in any way apply to that form of flavored inhaling of vaporized non-toxic food grade substances used in these products.

The psychological effects of yet another restriction in this “Free Country” of the United States is also a problem in particular a restriction of such basic enjoyments of flavors found in foods, herbs, etc. The many positive psychological effects of vaping which uses common types of flavor sensations for both adults as well as teens (and even with tobacco) needs to be considered.

There are various times when a person that has stress might reach for their handy non-regulated wonderful flavor vaporizer or a handy flavored cigarette instead of acting out serious aggression which for some reason has become more common in our society. The act of vaping and it’s effects can be compared to many hobbies or fun activities like flying a kite. The blowing of smoke is mesmeric. It can take a person away into a peaceful space for a moment or three.

The hovering of government in regulating flavors in this broad category of Tobacco Products appears to be moving toward way more than necessary. For those who smoke tobacco additional choices of flavors might just be the psychological thing they need to help them with maintaining a good feeling throughout a day whereas the standard taste of cigarettes that they are already addicted to offend both their senses and that of others.

The idea that the US government needs to be concerned about the younger population becoming drawn into the smoking of tobacco because of fruit flavors seems exaggerated, in fact I would expect to see an increase of tobacco use if flavors were regulated especially in the now popular vaping products.

Already teens are drawn way more to vaping than burning tobacco if they are drawn it all. This shift has been a big plus for their health and the regulating of flavors in these vaporizers would seriously jeopardize their safety in my opinion. The mesmeric draw of puffing clouds of vapor with flavors is a thousand times better than them not having this option, and thus it would more likely they be drawn to more precarious items such as marijuana and tobacco if this option is not readily available.

Again, vaporizing should be a separate category altogether.

When I last looked at the ingredients of Vicks Vapo Rub, a product that has been on the market for decades (see attached image of an ad from 1922 which mentions inhalation) and is vaporized commonly in children’s bedrooms ages newborn on up, it stated:

cedarleaf oil, nutmeg oil, petrolatum, thymol, turpentine oil

The vaporizing of turpentine oil and petrolatum apparently are considered safe by the FDA for vaporizing and when we compare it to the main ingredient in flavored vaporizing liquids used in “e-cigarettes” this product called Vick’s Vapo Rub, though safe, might surprisingly prove to be more harmful than “e-juice”. That ingredient found in these vaporizer liquids of “e-cigarettes” is vegetable glycerine a common food additive and though it’s claimed that it is possible the introduction via the lungs might be harmful one has to consider how a similar vaporizing product commonly used that contains turpentine oil compares. I would also like the FDA to consider how one coughs or does not cough when they first use flavored tobacco or flavored vaporizers. It seems there is little or no coughing with these products that vaporize vegetable glycerine with flavoring added. Although the process of vaporization for Vick’s Vapo Rub is steam and evaporation it seems the end result is identical as far as safety goes for the human body when we compare that ot vegetable glycerine and flavor being vaporized using direct heat as is what occurs in these “e-cigarettes” and vaping devices that are the target of this over regulation.

As far as the nicotine and it’s “addictive quality” these vaping juices made of vegetable glycerine and flavoring these products do not always contain nicotine and they are all so often available without nicotine. The concerns of nicotine addiction are exaggerated as far as health concerns go, shall we also regulate flavors of coffee? Seems we would have to also do this to be fair as nicotine and caffeine are both stimulants found in nature. If we are concerned about children or teens getting addicted to “e-cigarettes” flavors, ones which can be easily obtained WITHOUT NICOTINE we have to look at how likely is it they can get coffee with flavors that are almost always very readily available to anyone of any age with massive amounts of caffeine, amounts of which are much more dangerous than those in any “e-cigarette”. Thank you.

And I used exactly 5000 characters which was the limit, and I didn’t even try, wow, how odd is that?

Here is the image of the Vick’s Vapo Rub ad from long ago.

The deadline to submit a comment is June 19, 2018.

If you would like to comment go to this website https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FDA-2017-N-6565-0001 and click on the COMMENT NOW button in the upper right of the page.

Or if you would like to comment on “bump stocks” which is the next one in deadline closing on June 27, 2018 go here

Feature image by Nick Demou see more of his work here