FDA eyes restricting sale of flavored e-cigarettes
Aileen Cerrudo • August 21, 2019 • 886
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended to the 18th Congress to limit the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.
Officer in Charge, Food and Drug Administration Usec. Eric Domingo said this is to prevent children from trying vaping.
Domingo said because of these flavors, the children might think it is safe to consume.
“Of course dapat hindi siya attractive to minors. Gusto natin wala iyong mga flavor na candy, flavor na minsan cheesecake. Hindi ba ganiyan iyong mga flavor nila which attract children(Of course it should not be attractive to minors. We do not want the candy flavor, or the cheesecake flavor. Aren’t those flavors very attractive to children?),” he said.
The FDA also said that one of the most effective ways to prevent the youth from doing vices is to increase its taxes.
The House of Representatives already approved the excise tax hike on alcohol and vape products on the third reading.
Vape PH, meanwhile, said that higher taxes can only force people to go back to smoking.
“Heavy taxes on reduced-risk products will only result in smokers sticking it out with conventional cigarettes instead of switching to less harmful nicotine products,” their statement reads.
The Philippine E-Cigarette Industry Association (PECIA) said there was no public consultation for the proposed bill.
“Our organization could have provided the resources and studies to aid House Representatives understand tobacco harm reduction strategies being embraced by some countries,” according to their statement.—AAC(with reports from Mai Bermudez)
The U.S. investigation into hundreds of cases of life-threatening lung illnesses related to vaping is turning up new clues and helping researchers across the country trying to make sense of the situation.
Robert Tarran, a physiologist and vaping expert at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, is one of a group of researchers studying collections of lung cell samples, looking for answers about the outbreak.
“In my lab we study real world vapers who vape normally. So we’ve been collecting people who’ve been vaping for six months to a couple of years and then taken their lungs as they are. So I think the people we’ve been studying are representative of people being hospitalized. And I think it’s important to say that in the all the vapers that we’ve studied we’re seeing changes in their lungs,” he told Reuters.
Many of the victims had pockets of oil clogging up cells responsible for removing impurities in the lungs.
The answer to where that oil comes from will help explain whether these cells play a key role in the vaping-related outbreak that has killed atleast seven people and sickened 530 so far.
It may also reveal whether some of these cases have been occurring all along, undetected.
A group of researchers who have been studying the long-term effects of vaping told Reuters they have taken up the challenge. They have begun to re-examine lung cell samples they have collected in recent years for evidence of these oil-filled immune cells in people who vaped but didn’t get sick.
One possibility: The deposits are residue from inhaling vaping oils, such as those containing the marijuana ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or vitamin E acetate. Both are considered possible contributors to the current illnesses.
Some researchers suspect the oils are formed inside the lungs as part of the body’s natural response to chemicals found in many commercial vaping devices. One theory is that vaping these chemicals may impair the immune system, and make people who vape more vulnerable to respiratory distress, they say.
“One of the things we found there is a wide variety some liquids are more toxic than others and we found there is a correlation the more flavors in a liquid the more likely it was to be toxic. But there’s also an incredible diversity of flavors. So in 150 e-liquids we found about 200 different chemical constituents. And so really the flavors e-liquid really are all over the map,” Tarrant said.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation earlier this month has fueled the latter theory.
It found that mice exposed to aerosols of propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin – common solvents used in conventional nicotine vaping devices – developed these same fat-clogged immune cells even though they were never exposed to vaping oils. These mice also had impaired immune systems compared to mice exposed to room air.
The study set off alarm bells for Thomas Eissenberg, co-director of the Center for Tobacco Products at Virginia Commonwealth University. For years, doctors have reported isolated cases of pneumonia-like illnesses in people who vaped. In many cases, patients also had these fat-filled immune cells – called lipid-laden macrophages.
Now, these same abnormalities have been found in mice, and in at least some of the people who have fallen ill recently.
They want to help determine is whether these abnormalities have been present for years, and whether they have made vapers generally more vulnerable to severe disease, possibly triggered by some new vaping substance.
The group’s members say they have been in regular contact with officials at the CDC and the National Institutes of Health on how they can best help with the multistate investigation.
They include Tarran, a physiologist and vaping expert at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, and Dr. Peter Shields, a lung cancer specialist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, who has one of the country’s largest sets of lung samples from vapers, smokers and never-smokers.
Investigators at the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have pointed to THC vaping oils or vitamin E, a substance used in some THC products, as a possible cause of these illnesses. But they have not ruled out anything yet, including conventional nicotine liquids.
“So we’ve been able to break some of our studies down to study just the nicotine or the solvent the propane glycol vegetable glycerin. And we’ve been finding changes due to both of these components. So we can help identify things in any liquids which are having these effects and then potentially we could extend these studies and study cannabinoids or the vitamin E oils,” Tarrant said.
CDC pathologists are examining hundreds of lung cell samples gathered from patients in the outbreak. Meanwhile, forensic chemists at the FDA are testing more than 120 products to determine whether there is a common ingredient that may explain the illnesses. (REUTERS)
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MANILA, Philippines – Regulations on processed meat such as well-loved Filipino delicacies tocino and longganisa should be tightened by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).
According to Agriculture Undersecretary for Consumer Affairs Ernesto Gonzales, consumers cannot be complacent on buying these processed products especially if they are not sure of the source or origin of the raw meat.
Gonzales added that it is difficult to determine if the pork meat is contaminated with African Swine Fever (ASF) once it is processed.
He added that even ‘botcha’ or double-dead pork meat can be made into meat delicacies without the consumer noticing it because of colorings and extenders used in the process.
The official said the best way to determine if the pork meat is safe for consumption is to know the source of the raw meat, and if it is certified by the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS).
“Kapag na-issue-han na ang karne from slaughterhouse ng meat inspection certificate (once meat from the slaughterhouse is issued with meat inspection certificate), definitely that meat is safe to eat,” Gonzales said.
However, the DA admitted that the government is lacking when it comes to regulations on processed meat so the coordination of the local government units (LGUs) is of utmost importance.
“Iyang problema natin yung mga maliliit na food processors na gumagawa ng mga longanisa, tocino, ang regulation hindi ganoon ka-strict ( The problem with small-time food processors or makers of longanisa and tocino is that the regulation is not that strict), ” Gonzales noted.
If ever the processed meat is infected with ASF, Gonzales said, it is still safe to eat, provided that it went through the proper cooking procedure of 30 minutes under 70’C temperature. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)
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The FDA has warned establishments against selling these products.
“All concerned establishments are warned not to distribute violative food products until they have been issued the appropriate authorization, a License to Operate (LTO) for the establishment, and a CPR for the food products,” according to the FDA.
They also advised the public to always check if a food product or food supplement is registered with the FDA through their website (www.fda.gov.ph).—AAC
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