Republicans Should Snuff Out Last-Minute Tobacco Rules
A letter sent to federal agency heads by republican leaders suggests that some last-minute regulations should be snuffed out before the transition.
That’s a sensible warning, and a precursor to President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to roll back counterproductive federal rules. But if the new president and Congress want a good specific place to start, they need not focus on the shady stuff rammed through by federal bureaucrats before the presidential transition. They can begin with a set of Food and Drug Administration tobacco rules that have been moving ahead glacially and in full daylight, but which are so fraught with unintended consequences and so harmful to consumers and businesses that it’s hard to understand how they got this far.
We’re referring to the “deeming” rules the FDA approved last summer and which — barring an act of congressional or Trumpian intervention — will go into effect August 2018.
The final regulation deems some non-tobacco products as tobacco, thus giving the federal government broad authority to regulate and ban them. Those products include e-cigarettes, electronic devices that heat a flavored liquid and allow people to inhale the resulting vapor. The liquids are not made from tobacco but usually contain nicotine. “Vaping” is proving to be one of the most effective means to break smokers of their dangerous habit, which explains why these rules are so dangerous.