Washington conferences to consider deeming regs, harm reduction

United States Capitol - Phil Roeder 900x540As the U.S. e-cig industry and policy-makers alike await the final version of the Food and Drug Administration’s deeming regulations, two conferences will be held in the Washington area next week to discuss a spectrum of issues related to tobacco and nicotine policies.

On 21st October, non-profit organisation the Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI) will host a one-day conference on federal regulation of tobacco products, sure to be dominated by the deeming regulations which will bring e-cigs within the FDA’s remit for the first time.

Keynote speaker Mitch Zeller, director of the agency’s Center for Tobacco Products, will provide updates on the proposed rule and share the FDA’s priorities for tobacco regulation.

And participants will also hear from stakeholders outside the FDA.

A panel covering the impacts of modified-risk tobacco products will include Raymond Niaura, director for science, tobacco science and research at the American Legacy Foundation – likely to take a pro-vaping stance – along with Denny Henigan, director of legal and policy analysis at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, known for its anti-e-cig position.

Opposing viewpoints can also be expected in a discussion of e-cig packaging issues such as child-proofing, involving both Cynthia Cabrera, executive director and president/CEO-elect of the Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA), as well as James D. Baumberger, assistant director at the American Academy of Pediatrics, which has expressed health concerns over e-cigarettes.

Other speakers at the FDLI event will discuss the continuum-of-risk concept, evolving product standards, and future tobacco policy.

Then, on Thursday and Friday 22nd-23rd October, the Forum for Civil Dialogue on Tobacco, Nicotine, and Alternative Product Harm Reduction will convene for the fifth time, hosted by the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia.

The event, known as the “Morven Dialogues”, will bring stakeholders together to examine how alternative nicotine products and harm reduction principles could be used as a strategy for tackling disease and death caused by tobacco use.

A major theme will be the need to minimise any unnecessary health risks related to vaping without constraining e-cigs’ ability to be an effective tool against the established harms of smoking.

– Carly Souther ECigIntelligence staff

Photo: Phil Roeder

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