FDA Nominee Scott Gottlieb Not Conflicted, He Understands Vaping

Bloomberg has an article about  President Trump’s FDA Nominee, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, accusing him of conflict of interest because he understands the vape industry and has invested and served on the board of a company that sells electronic cigarettes.

I guess that we are all supposed to infer that since he invested in a company that sells ecigarettes, he must want to eventually hook all of our children on tobacco.  That would in fact make him an evil person. The problem with that line of reasoning is that the company he was part of called, Kure is all about helping people quit tobacco and find a less harmful alternative.

The Bloomberg article on Nominee FDA Commisioner Dr. Gottlieb can’t help but hide its prejudice and preconceived notions:

Vaping, which generally delivers nicotine in the form of liquids that are vaporized and inhaled, is considered by many to be less harmful than smoking cigarettes, which deliver other chemicals and carcinogens along with nicotine when lit on fire. But candy flavors and ease of access have made e-cigarettes increasingly popular among teenagers and a gateway for youth to nicotine products. Between 2011 and 2015, e-cigarette use rose to 16 percent of U.S. high school students from 1.5 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Show me the research.  When did vaping become a gateway to tobacco products? It is precisely because of candy flavors, fruit flavors, and bakery flavors that the majority of people are able to quit tobacco cigarettes.  And if your introduction to smoking was an ecigarette, why would you ever decide to gag on the putrid and ashy flavor of a smoky, burning tobacco cigarette?

At Flavorah we believe that nicotine is not even necessary when you vape quality flavors.   It is precisely because of the flavors that people are able to wean themselves off of nicotine and cigarettes.  Our DIY ejuice manufacturers have taken control of their entire smoking experience by mixing their own flavors, whether nicotine is included or not.  I think that many of them would actually be offended if you compared their craft to smoking an analog cigarette.

The hypothesis that vaping is a gateway towards tobacco-use rather than away from tobacco use is at the center of the harm reduction priority for the FDA.   Everyone in the vape industry knows that it is absurdly false that people who start with an ecig will be enticed to switch to tobacco.  Apparently, Dr. Scott Gottlieb knows this since he must have understood the customer profile of the business he invested in.

The best way to market Ecigarettes is to put them right next to a pack of tobacco cigarettes and steal business from Winston, Marlboro, American Spirit and whatever else must be lit on fire.

Wouldn’t it be a relief that somebody who understands the vape industry is going to lead the agency that regulates it?  Well, not according to the headline and part of the article’s underlying if not explicit thesis: that because he has been involved in the market, he must be tainted by conflicts of interest to help his business investments grow.  Dr. Gottlieb has promised to divest his holdings before he takes the reins.

If Dr. Gottlieb’s offence is trying to get children hooked on tobacco then here, here Mr. Bloomberg! …We should all oppose him.  But in reality it is the opposite.  There can be no conflict of interest if his intention was to help people effectively quit tobacco, and his investment in a company called Kure was trying to do that.  There are thousands of small businesses like it now serving millions of people who have quit smoking tobacco.

The real conflict of interest would be if the FDA took away the freedom that smokers have to chose a less harmful alternative.