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In wake of the FDA extending regulation of tobacco products to e-cigarettes on May 6, a panel of experts, moderated by AEI’s Alan D. Viard, discussed the misconceptions behind e-cigarettes, the negative public health implications of this “deeming rule,” and the legal and legislative challenges in combating this policy.
Saul Shiffman of the University of Pittsburgh provided a comprehensive background on the current e-cigarette debate. AEI’s Sally Satel cited the misleading anti-e-cigarette advertisements that have falsely convinced users these products are equally as dangerous as traditional cigarettes. Julian Morris of the Reason Foundation echoed those sentiments as he discussed implications of the new regulations.
Stacy Ehrlich, an FDA lawyer, presented a legal approach to the issue, discussing e-cigarette companies’ pending lawsuits against the new FDA rules. AEI’s Alex Brill focused on the political aspect, particularly Congress and its recent actions.
All the panelists urged the FDA to favor pragmatism over an absolutist approach. They recognized that e-cigarettes may pose a health risk, but they argued that it is insignificant compared to the consequences of removing them from the market and pushing users back to a much more dangerous habit.
–Adele Hunter and Alison Hiestand
In early May, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a “deeming rule” that gives it regulatory authority over e-cigarettes. The rule means e-cigarettes must pass a sweeping review and testing regime to continue production after August 2019. Many experts believe the new regime will drive most e-cigarettes makers out of the market. This would eliminate the option of a nicotine product that is much safer for smokers’ health than deadly, combustible cigarettes.
What are the deeming rule’s implications for e-cigarettes and public health? What are the prospects for legislative and judicial challenges? What is the right regulatory regime for e-cigarettes? Join AEI for a panel discussion to explore these and other questions.
If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.
Alex Brill, AEI
Stacy Ehrlich, Kleinfeld Kaplan & Becker LLP
Julian Morris, Reason Foundation
Sally Satel, AEI
Saul Shiffman, University of Pittsburgh
Alan D. Viard, AEI
Event Contact Information
For more information, please contact Kaavya Ramesh at [email protected], 202.862.7193.
Media Contact Information
For media inquiries or to register a camera crew, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829
Alex Brill is a research fellow at AEI, where he studies the impact of tax policy on the US economy and the fiscal, economic, and political consequences of tax, budget, health care, retirement security, and trade policies. He also works on health care reform, pharmaceutical spending and drug innovation, and unemployment insurance reform. Mr. Brill is the author of a pro-growth proposal to reduce the corporate tax rate to 25 percent and is the coauthor, with Alan D. Viard, of “The Real Tax Burden: More Than Dollars and Cents” (AEI Press, 2011). He has testified numerous times before Congress on tax policy, labor markets and unemployment insurance, Social Security reform, fiscal stimulus, the manufacturing sector, and biologic drug competition. Before joining AEI, Mr. Brill served as the policy director and chief economist of the US House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee. Previously, he was on the staff of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. He has also served on the staff of the president’s fiscal commission and the Republican Platform Committee. Mr. Brill does not represent or work for a vapor-product manufacturer.
Stacy Ehrlich is a partner at the Washington, DC, law firm Kleinfeld Kaplan & Becker LLP, which specializes in food and drug law. Her practice represents pharmaceutical, food, dietary supplement, cosmetic, medical device, and tobacco product (including vapor product) companies in regulatory and advertising legal matters. Ms. Ehrlich currently serves on the Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI) board of directors and is included in The Best Lawyers in America (2014–16) for FDA Law. She regularly speaks and writes on various food and drug legal topics, including over-the-counter drug labeling, dietary-supplement marketing, nicotine delivery devices, and tobacco-product regulation and enforcement. She has authored chapters in “Food and Drug Law and Regulation” (FDLI, 2015), “How to Work with the FDA” (FDLI, 2000), and multiple editions of “Top 20 Food and Drug Cases and Cases to Watch” (FDLI). Ms. Ehrlich received her B.A. with high honors in English from Emory University and her J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School.
Julian Morris is vice president of research at the Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets. He graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a master’s in economics and received further master’s degrees and a graduate diploma in law at University College London, Cambridge University, and the University of Westminster. Mr. Morris is the author of dozens of scholarly articles on issues ranging from the morality of free trade to the regulation of the Internet, although his academic research has focused primarily on the relationship among institutions, economic development, and environmental protection. He has also edited several books and coedits, with Indur Goklany, the Electronic Journal of Sustainable Development. Mr. Morris is a visiting professor in the Department of International Studies at the University of Buckingham. Before joining Reason, he was executive director of International Policy Network, a London-based think tank, which he cofounded. He previously ran the environment and technology program at the Institute of Economic Affairs, also in London. He is currently writing a paper on innovation and regulation of vapor products. Mr. Morris does not represent or work for a vapor-product manufacturer.
Sally Satel is a resident scholar at AEI and the staff psychiatrist at Partners in Drug Abuse and Rehabilitation Counseling. Dr. Satel was an assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale University from 1988 to 1993. From 1993 to 1994, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow with the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee. She has written widely in academic journals on topics in psychiatry and medicine and has published articles on cultural aspects of medicine and science in numerous magazines and journals. Her essays have appeared in the 2003 and 2008 editions of “Best American Science Writing.” She has testified before Congress on veterans’ mental health and disability, federal funding for mental health, and substance abuse. Dr. Satel is author of “Drug Treatment: The Case for Coercion” (AEI Press, 1999) and “PC, M.D.: How Political Correctness Is Corrupting Medicine” (Basic Books, 2001). She is the coauthor of “One Nation Under Therapy” (St. Martin’s Press, 2005) and “The Health Disparity Myth” (AEI Press, 2006) and editor of “When Altruism Isn’t Enough: The Case for Compensating Organ Donors” (AEI Press, 2009). She most recently coauthored “Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience” (Basic Books, 2013). Dr. Satel does not represent or work for a vapor-product manufacturer.
Saul Shiffman is a research professor of psychology (clinical and health psychology), psychiatry, pharmaceutical sciences, and clinical translational science at the University of Pittsburgh. He also serves as senior scientific adviser at Pinney Associates, which consults Reynolds American on smoking cessation and tobacco harm-reduction strategies and products, including vapor products. Dr. Shiffman earned his Ph.D. in psychology at UCLA, where he began conducting behavioral research on nicotine and tobacco in 1973. Since then, he has published nearly 400 scientific papers on topics including smoking patterns, nicotine dependence, smoking cessation, and harm reduction. He is the recipient of the Ovid Ferno Award “for breakthroughs in clinical research,” awarded by the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, and the Research-to-Practice award “for exemplary work in translating or extending behavioral medicine from research into practical application,” awarded by the Society for Behavioral Medicine. Dr. Shiffman has been designated a fellow of multiple scientific societies and has served on advisory panels to the National Institutes of Health and several nongovernmental organizations.
Alan D. Viard is a resident scholar at AEI, where he studies federal tax and budget policy. Before joining AEI, he was a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and an assistant professor of economics at Ohio State University. He has also been a visiting scholar at the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Tax Analysis, a senior economist at the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, and a staff economist at the Joint Committee on Taxation of the US Congress. While at AEI, he has also taught public finance at Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute. Earlier in his career, Dr. Viard spent time in Japan as a visiting scholar at Osaka University’s Institute of Social and Economic Research. He is a frequent contributor to AEI’s On the Margin column in Tax Notes and was nominated for Tax Notes’ 2009 Tax Person of the Year. He has also testified before Congress, and his work has been featured in a wide range of publications. He is the coauthor of “Progressive Consumption Taxation: The X Tax Revisited” (AEI Press, 2012) and “The Real Tax Burden: Beyond Dollars and Cents” (AEI Press, 2011) and the editor of “Tax Policy Lessons from the 2000s” (AEI Press, 2009). Dr. Viard does not represent or work for a vapor-product manufacturer.