President Derek Yach's Statement on the FDA's Authorization of E-Cigarettes - Foundation for a Smoke-Free World

President Derek Yach’s Statement on the FDA’s Authorization of E-Cigarettes

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to authorize the sale of electronic cigarettes in the U.S. is an important step forward that will help reduce the unacceptable deaths caused by tobacco use and give the 34 million smokers in the U.S. a better chance of giving up combustible cigarettes for good.

The FDA’s thorough approval process is considered the international gold standard for vaccines, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. We hope the FDA will share its research with other governments as they do with other similar health and safety decisions. Since 95% of the world’s 1.14 billion smokers live outside of the U.S., the biggest impact could be for them if the World Health Organization (WHO) and governments that have banned tobacco harm-reduction products follow the FDA’s lead and give smokers a real chance to quit. Unfortunately, the WHO still refuses to amend its Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to define the concept of tobacco harm reduction and the proportionate risks and benefits of products that have come onto the market. We hope this decision will help the WHO see the importance of changing their approach.

Research by leading scientists has consistently shown that harm-reduction tobacco products are less harmful to users than traditional combustibles. We encourage the WHO and other countries to look at the science and take more steps to ensure all smokers have access to cessation solutions, especially in the low- and middle-income countries, where most smokers live.

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