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American Lung Association responds to FDA authorizing of e-cigarette

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(WQOW) - The FDA made a monumental decision in the world of e-cigarette use. The government agency granted authorization to R.J. Reynolds tobacco company to sell 3 of its Vuse vaping products..

The FDA said it may help smokers cut back on the use of traditional cigarettes, but some disagree.

The FDA's authorization of the sale of Vuse vaping product is the first time the agency has approved an e-cigarette brand for sale in the U.S., the most recent decision for the agency since being granted the power to regulate new tobacco products since 2009.

E-cigarettes deliver the addictive nicotine through a vaporizing liquid or cartridge.

The FDA authorized 3 Vuse products-all tobacco flavored, and denied 10 other requests from the company for other flavored products. 

The American Lung Association's Assistant Vice President for State and Public Policy, Michael Seilback, said if the product was intended to help smokers, the vape brand could have applied as such.

"The e-cigarette industry has every right and ability to apply for these products as cessation tool," continued Seilback, "They could have been approved as a approved cessation device that it's been shown as safe and effective and helping smokers quit. They chose not to go that route. That route is still open to them. But they are not as far as we know, they haven't applied for any type of approval on that front. So, you know, we think it's disingenuous, we know that there are tools out there that have been approved for smoking cessation, these are not them."

Seilback said the greenlight is alarming, and that the authorization could cause the next wave of tobacco addiction.

Currently Vuse is the number two vaping brand in the U.S. behind Juul, which accounts for a third of all retail sales. Juul's application with the FDA is still pending.

Seilback said that the association disagrees with the FDA's decision and will continue to advocate against it.

"We don't believe that any jewel product or product like it should be green lighted by the FDA. So we are going to continue fighting publicly. But as importantly, we want to make sure that Americans know that these products are not safe," Seilback said. 

The FDA emphasized that the products are neither safe or FDA approved, and that people who are not smokers, should not use them.

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