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Pause Sales Call

Blinkered chairman of the American House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy has called for vape sales to be banned as part of the COVID lockdown

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Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Democrat from Illinois, has called on the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban all sales of vape equipment and juices because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is just the latest in the chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy’s attacks on tobacco harm reduction and another example of his vape benefit denialism.

According to the dim-witted Krishnamoorthi, the FDA would be able to strike a blow for victory in the battle against coronavirus by cancelling all sales of vape products. Writing for The Hill, he said: “While news outlets have reported heavily on a number of vulnerable populations including seniors, another one facing elevated risks from COVID-19 is vapers. To reduce the risk e-cigarettes pose during the pandemic, the federal government should move quickly to pause e-cigarette sales for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.”

Krishnamoorthi has held a long-standing opposition to tobacco harm reduction, ignoring evidence and driving an ignorance agenda for populist political advantage. Last year he proudly declared himself “Big Vape’s worst enemy”, because “kids who vape look like my children”.

Last September, he told Time Magazine: “The forces of Big Tobacco and the e-cigarette industry are very powerful. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a while for people to wake up to just how dangerous some of these products are.”

His deluded stance ignores the vast independent sector that certainly isn’t “Big Vape".

Previously, he has pushed for sales to be restricted to over-21s, a ban on all flavours, and slurs anyone who disagrees with him as a “troll”. His communications director commented: “There seem to be a lot of people double-fisting with an e-cigarette in one hand and their phone in the other.

“The FDA overall has unfortunately been kind of AWOL on this issue. They should get their act together and put this flavour ban out immediately,” he said at a hearing in December.

Now he is saying: “Because coronavirus attacks the lungs, smokers and vapers put themselves at increased risk of COVID-19 and its more serious complications…We now have the opportunity – indeed, the obligation – to take immediate action to keep the coronavirus pandemic from getting worse.

“I have called on the FDA to commit to pausing the sale of all e-cigarettes by announcing that it will prioritize enforcement against them during this pandemic. Beyond that, the FDA should commit to not approving the e-cigarette companies’ applications to market their products as long as the coronavirus pandemic persists. While the FDA has so far refused to take these steps, the need for them remains.”

To date, there is zero evidence that vaping increases the risk of contracting COVID-19 or experiencing worse symptoms. Indeed, as a number of our recent articles highlight, the opposite could be the case.

Krishnamoorthi’s evidence-free opportunism is a disgrace.

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Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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