The real reason for Biden’s war on Juul


Time for the vape fiends to grow up and smoke a cigarette

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 22: Packages of Juul e-cigarettes are displayed for sale in the Brazil Outlet shop on June 22, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reportedly preparing to order Juul Labs Inc. to remove its e-cigarette products from the U.S. market. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Iwas in a South Carolina dive bar, the type recent graduates cheekily show off to the parents who subsidized their six-figure educations. I stepped into a courtyard — for even the states tobacco built have banned indoor smoking — and was greeted by thick plumes of poisoned air. Those shades came from manicured hands holding glorified USB memory sticks, the fingers stained yellow by 70-millimeter Marlboros. I gathered with the only people holding the latter — a bar manager and pair of fathers no doubt looking to calm the nerves after realizing this is what they took out a second mortgage to pay for. I couldn’t hear it over the blaring mumble rap, but I saw it: the young man holding the Chinese antifreeze-fueled gadget pretended to cough at the odor of our (harmless) secondhand smoke. He pocketed his Juul and returned inside to civilization, which is to say the painted concrete floors still flypaper-sticky from last night’s mix of overturned seltzer, light beer and vomit. I laughed at his gag reflex. I’m laughing even harder now picturing that faux sickly face as its owner read the news on Wednesday morning that the Biden administration planned to take Juul off the market.

Joe Biden is dealing with the war in Ukraine, record high inflation, dissatisfaction from his left flank and uncooperative bicycles. On top of that he could be excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church. He is dealing with a lot, is what I’m saying, but the media narrative that irks him most is the idea that his staff of ambitious millennials is running the show.

Biden may not mind the leak of Associate Justice Samuel Alito’s Dobbs draft, but he sure as hell will not tolerate staffers who gab to the press about the difficulties of working for a doddering old fool. Biden knows exactly what the turncoats look like. They want cushy White House jobs without foreclosing their opportunities in the party’s progressive future. They are the types who want to have their cake and eat it too. I bet they all vape.

Rantin’ Scranton Joe made his bones on authenticity and while he will tolerate vaping, he surely takes issue with stolen valor if his 2005 vote is any indication. Biden’s mental cognition may be waning, but buried in America’s first Silent Generation president there is something saying, “C’mon Jack, put your cards and your doohickie on the table. Light up or shut up. Who is this guy in the blue jacket and red stripes in his slacks, and why is he trying to get me to board a helicopter? That Pinochet must think he’s clever.”

It’s not Pinochet trying to throw Biden out of the helicopter, but his staffers. How else to explain the April announcement to ban menthols and the administration’s embrace of Trump’s biggest administrative legacy: eliminating nicotine in cigarettes? And to do it all in an election year when black voters and blue-collar union men are more needed then ever? It is pure sabotage.

Edward Luttwak, the foreign policy gadfly with an awful habit of being correct about everything in spite of groupthink, made waves in early June when he explained to Tablet the roots of America’s cratering, geriatric Republic.

“The massive brain outages we see throughout the West, and particularly in America, are in no small part due to the war on smoking, which both makes people smarter and kills them before they become senile,” Luttwak said shortly before the Biden administration launched its war on nicotine. Luttwak turned to nicotine patches for his performance enhancers, but the modern DC bureaucrat and Hill rat seeks refuge in their vaporizers.

The groups hardest hit by vape bans are young libertarians and Democrats, populations dominated by foodies and anti-tobacco attitudes, the types who pooh-pooh a cigarette until their BAC hits a certain level, only to fake a cough when they encounter second-hand tobacco during their morning bicycle commute. They rooted their vaping habits by throwing smokers under the bus, assuming that anti-tobacco crusaders — much like Covid hypochondriacs — could be persuaded by science. That assumption proved fatal to the pro-vape crowd. The anti-tobacco campaign was always rooted in the nose and the eyes, rather than the mind.

Biden pressed forward on the Juul ban after a two-year federal study, which showed vapes are capital B-Bad. I’ve no doubt this study will prove just as legitimate as the second-hand smoke study used to bolster indoor smoking bans. Fifteen years after lawmakers ruined every bar and diner in America in the name of science, researchers revisited the findings only to discover they were illegitimate. By then, every state no matter its partisanship had enshrined the rights of foodies and nerds to enter and exit bars without compromising their nostrils.

Vapers can cite all the facts they want about how vapes help people quit smoking, but they will never overcome the smug intentions of do-gooders trying to figure out how to spend the millions of dollars they pocketed by demonizing nicotine. We can only hope that these vape fiends will grow up and smoke a cigarette; the more likely scenario is they will try to ban my kind from that South Carolina courtyard.

FDA may toss Juul e-cigs from store shelves

The Food and Drug Administration is poised to sweep Juul e-cigarette products off store shelves, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, in what could be a major turning point for an agency that’s taken a sluggish, at times disjointed approach to regulating the vaping industry.

Why it matters: The move, coming amid a push to cap nicotine in cigarettes, may signal the Biden administration is ready to try to put tobacco use behind us.

Where it stands: The FDA is ready to deny Juul a marketing order for its menthol and tobacco-flavored products after a two-year review that weighed the products’ benefits for adult smokers against risks to teens, the WSJ reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Juul has been in regulatory limbo for several years, even while its market share swelled, driven in part by flavored products popular among teens.
Now, all e-cigarette products must go through pre-marketing reviews at the FDA, which missed a court-ordered deadline last fall to decide which products could be sold.
The agency reviewed many smaller manufacturers’ products, denying close to 1 million, but hasn’t yet ruled on Juul.

What they’re saying: The FDA wouldn’t confirm or deny the WSJ report or provide a status on its Juul deliberations.

Juul did not respond to emailed request for comment.
Groups that oppose youth smoking say taking the company off the market would mark a dramatic step to discourage youth smoking.
“This is a most-welcomed and a long-overdue decision,” Erika Sward, assistant vice president of advocacy for the American Lung Association, told Axios.
“FDA should have acted years ago, but if it acts now and we do more to educate young people, this is a reversible epidemic,” Matt Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, told Axios.

Background: A 2016 FDA rule required makers of tobacco products to submit applications for products made after 2007.

A court ordered the FDA to make decisions by September 2021. After the agency missed the deadline, the American Lung Association and other advocacy groups and pediatricians successfully sued to speed up the process.
Now, all e-cigarette manufacturers have to show products are “appropriate for the protection of public health,” per the FDA.
Congress also recently gave the FDA the authority to regulate synthetic nicotine products, which are subject to the same application requirements.

Flashback: The FDA banned Juul flavored products as part of a bigger crackdown on flavored vapes, prompting many teens to use disposable e-cigarettes and menthol-flavored products that are still sold.

From February 2020 to February 2022, disposable e-cigarette sales increased by 215.4%, data from the CDC Foundation show, and more than half of youth who reported smoking in 2021 used disposable e-cigs.
Public health groups say it’s important for the FDA to finally have a clear, consistent policy on vaping, without loopholes.

The other side: The e-cigarette industry is worried regulators will take a carte blanche approach to policing its products.

Juul’s application process involved nearly two years of submitting data and evidence to the FDA, WSJ reported, and industry leaders say its data was sound.
“If that level of science isn’t sufficient, it begs the question of what is,” Tony Abboud, executive director of the Vapor Technology Association, told Axios.
E-cigarette industry groups are calling on the FDA to go after bad actors that are skirting the review process.
The industry also claims its products are used successfully to wean adult smokers off cigarettes, and that removing e-cigarettes from the market will force people to return to cigarettes again.
“FDA’s staggering indifference to ordinary Americans and their right to switch to the vastly safer alternative of vaping will surely rank as one of the greatest episodes of regulatory malpractice in American history,” American Vapor Manufacturers Association President Amanda Wheeler said in a statement.

Context: Juul’s rise in popularity from 2017 to 2019 coincided with more than a million teens getting hooked on nicotine, while flavored vape cartridges and pods were still available.

A study in Pediatrics assessed found most new tobacco use during that time was among teens using e-cigs.
“There was no evidence that [older] smokers were using them,” John Pierce, one of the study authors, told Axios.

What’s next: The FDA still has many products to review and a bipartisan group of lawmakers in Congress is calling on the agency to expedite the process and take aim at addictive products marketed towards teens.

The bottom line: If Juul is pulled from the market, health risks to youths will have trumped arguments for using e-cigarettes as cessation products.

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