Tool for reporting faulty vaping products
The Food and Drug Administration has a somewhat limited history with E-cigs. As far as the FDA is concerned, electronic cigarettes are often classified very similarly as tobacco products – but according to new features and tools on their website, it is now easier than ever to report defects and problems with vape products. The online tool can be used to report things like allergic reactions, defective parts, poisoning, burns, and even low quality products – and it can be used for both vape pens and traditional analog tobacco cigarettes, hookahs, cigars, etc.
According to the FDA, the reason for this tool is so that the association can build a ‘comprehensive tobacco regulation program’ that’s supposed to ‘ensure all tobacco products have an appropriate level of regulatory oversight.’
The FDA has made a few different moves to control vaping in the US, including laws that have banned their use on airplanes and that have restricted the sale of the products to minors.
Information! But some people are a bit critical of this new online tool – and the reasons might seem a bit obvious. A lot of people are afraid that it will not be taking information into account within a reasonable context. If there’s a negative report of a product, for example, how much will it matter and what kind of effect will it have on potential future legislation? We do need openness and honesty in the vaping community, but how many complaints should be made about a product before legislation is used to solve the problem.
Another potential problem with this sort of reporting tool is that there’s no way to find out every detail of the complaint. One person might report their device as defective because it creates what they would describe as ‘weird tasting vapor’ – but how will anyone know whether or not the liquid was supposed to taste like that? What one person might describe as ‘weird’ may be great for someone else, especially where taste is concerned.
Of course, the upsides to such a tool are also obvious. This will create a data channel for the FDA that’s coming right from E-cig and tobacco users.
It will also serve as a medium through which anyone can have a voice regarding a particular product or problem. It will also put more first-hand information into the hands of those responsible for making long-term decisions about possible legislation.
What do we think about the new FDA reporting tool?
To be honest, our opinion is still based on how the information will be used. We obviously support the idea that small businesses deserve access to the vaping market, because this will keep big pharma and the tobacco companies from monopolizing all of the industry power. One thing about vaping that’s still a really good thing is the fact that small-time vaping businesses are a possibility for almost anyone – and we believe that it should stay that way.
But we also believe that safety regulations are still important. We just hope that the regulations will protect people without going so far as to stifle the growth of the vaping industry, thereby making it impossible for small-time businesses to continue to operate.
We advocate a safe, open, and beneficial vaping community where vapers and vaping businesses are allowed to practice vaping and the sale of vaping products as safely and as freely as possible – so hopefully, this new FDA tool will help to continue this trend and make the vaping world an even better place for everyone.
As positive and safer alternative to tobacco products, it’s certainly in everyone’s best interest to make E-cigs accessible. But at the same time, we can certainly appreciate the openness of something like this, and we can also see how important it is for the FDA to gather data on such a voluntary basis. This tool should, in theory anyway, give everyone a voice – which is good!
What are your thoughts about such a tool?