(The Center Square) – The government watchdog group Protect the Public’s Trust filed a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services over what it says are scientific integrity violations involving the impact of vaping.
The complaint states the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is promoting public health messages on vaping that appear to be unsupported by its own research and scientific findings.
Protect the Public’s Trust stated the FDA was making “scientifically unfounded statements about the vaping industry” contrary to its own research, adding the agency’s own data appeared to contradict the FDA’s public stance on vaping products.
Protect the Public’s Trust said an FDA report found that “only a subset” of the many harmful compounds found in cigarettes are found in vapes and “at much lower levels” than those in cigarette smoke. That FDA report found that menthol-vapes were helping adult smokers quit cigarettes better than fruit, candy or traditional tobacco flavors.
In the complaint, Protect the Public’s Trust stated that FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb presented vaping as comparable to smoking traditional cigarettes because “several of the dangerous chemicals in tobacco smoke are also present in the aerosol of some [vaping] products.”
The FDA didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.
But the FDA declared that “Vaping is not harmless. It carries real health and safety risks, including addiction and other negative health effects.”
“Many studies suggest e-cigarettes and noncombustible tobacco products may be less harmful than combustible cigarettes. However, there is not yet enough evidence to support claims that e-cigarettes and other ENDS [Electronic Nicotine Delivery System] are effective tools for quitting smoking,” the FDA stated on its website.
Protect the Public’s Trust stated there has been a pattern of the government not following “the science.” Protect the Public’s Trust also claimed in December 2022 that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention failed to track side effects of taking the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Once again, it appears that federal public health leadership has chosen to sacrifice scientific integrity and the public’s rapidly disappearing trust on the altar of political and special interest agendas,” said Michael Chamberlain, director of Protect the Public’s Trust, in an email to The Center Square. “While we were promised that health officials would follow the science, what we have observed instead is a disturbing trend of ignoring or disregarding scientific research and data that don’t fit their particular biases.”
Michigan became the first state to ban flavored nicotine vaping products in 2019.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to publish emergency rules that banned the sale of flavored nicotine vaping products online as well as in retail stores.