Vapers; here’s your chance

    People in the US who have quit smoking by using vapor products are being offered the opportunity to submit sworn statements about their quitting to help forestall bans or restrictions on flavored e-liquids – and, thereby, allow current and future smokers the chance of taking the same route to quitting.
    In a blog last week, Brad Rodu, who is a professor of Medicine at the University of Louisville and who holds an endowed chair in tobacco harm reduction research, noted that a year and a half ago, he had blogged about government agencies ignoring federal survey data showing that 2.5 million former smokers were current vapers.
    Rodu said that when the Food and Drug Administration’s tobacco-center director Mitch Zeller dismissed this evidence as mere “anecdotal reports”, he – Rodu – had argued that such data constituted legitimate population-level evidence.
    Rodu went on to say that, in aiming to build a fresh dataset on smokers’ success in using vapor as a quitting aid, the Vapor Technology Association and Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives had recently launched a national campaign called I Am Not An Anecdote.
    ‘The groups are asking vapers to submit to the FDA detailed, sworn statements to “encourage Congress and federal regulators to reject any proposal that would ban OR limit flavored e-liquid products”, said Rodu. ‘The groups note that FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has said that your “personal stories are important to me”. But, he also refers to your stories of quitting cigarettes with vapor products as “anecdotes”.’
    Rodu admitted that, in scientific terminology, individual cases were anecdotal, but said that their cumulative value was considerable.
    ‘FDA should give weight to published studies, even when they do not conform to visions of a tobacco-free society,’ he said. ‘The agency should also recognize the scientific value of mass declarations of smoking cessation accomplished through vaping substitution.’