FDA to target underage tobacco use in new effort

ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT GAZETTE: Gottlieb, in pursuing his tobacco strategy, is taking some flak from fellow conservatives. “The administration promised less regulation — without sacrificing protections,” said Jeff Stier, a senior fellow at the Consumer Choice Center. “So if the FDA fails to meet both objectives — by announcing a heavy-handed regulatory plan — President [Donald] Trump should realize that the current leadership at the FDA is not equipped to implement the administration’s policy agenda.”

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About Jeff Stier

Jeff Stier is a Senior Fellow at the Consumer Choice Center. Mr. Stier has been a frequent guest on CNBC, and has addressed health policy on CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, as well as network newscasts. He is a guest on over 100 radio shows a year, including on NPR and top-rated major market shows in cities including Boston, Philadelphia, and Sacramento, plus syndicated regional broadcasts. Jeff’s op-eds have been published in top outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, Forbes, The Washington Examiner, and National Review Online.

« En Europe, la sécurité juridique fait obstacle à une évolution rapide de l’Internet des objets »

Dans une tribune au « Monde », l’analyste de politiques publiques Bill Wirtz estime que l’Union européenne, par son interventionnisme, nuit au développement de la connexion des appareils Tribune. Le débat sur le marché unique numérique au sein de l’Union européenne va se poursuivre pendant de nombreuses années. Mais au lieu d’une économie planiée et centralisée, le secteur numérique a besoin de liberté économique.

« L’Internet des objets » désigne le fait de connecter le réseau aux appareils de tous les jours. L’un des exemples les plus récurrents de ces appareils connectés est bien sûr le téléphone mobile. Mais aujourd’hui, les voitures font aussi leur saut dans le monde connecté.

Dans l’Union européenne, la sécurité juridique fait malheureusement obstacle à une évolution rapide dans ce domaine : les autorités politiques imposent aux fabricants une technologie spécique, à savoir la Wi-Fi ou la 5G. Cependant, certains producteurs ont déjà investi dans l’un ou l’autre de ces deux projets et ne semblent pas disposés à céder un pouce tant qu’ils ne sont pas certains d’avoir perdu la bataille.

En juillet, le gouvernement allemand a ainsi publié sa position sur la question de ces technologies futures. Le gouvernement allemand se prépare à soutenir l’utilisation de la technologie Wi-Fi pour relier les voitures connectées en arguant que la technologie 5G n’est pas encore assez mature pour livrer des résultats. Le document que le gouvernement allemand a publié dit que « l’industrie doit se concentrer sur la technologie qui utilise des signaux à courte portée, à base de Wi-Fi » . En réponse, certains constructeurs automobiles se sont prononcés en faveur de la position prise par le gouvernement allemand tandis que d’autres ont estimé que Berlin devrait plutôt soutenir la technologie 5G.

Libérer les nouvelles technologies

Le département de la mobilité de la Commission européenne réserve sa position jusqu’à ce que le débat autour de la technologie arrive à sa conclusion. De fait, quelque seize Etats membres sont déjà en train d’investir dans les technologies routières pour les voitures connectées.

En réglementant les moyens technologiques que les producteurs devraient préférer, les Etats membres de l’Union européenne ne se contentent pas seulement de permettre l’augmentation des incitations au lobbying, mais ils rendent aussi des progrès faciles irréalisables. Cette immobilisation d’une technologie spécique, en concurrence avec une autre, empêche la exibilité des marchés des technologies émergentes et décourage l’investissement dans la recherche. Cela ralentit encore plus l’innovation face à des marchés numériques comme ceux des Etats-Unis ou de la Chine.

En général, le principe du « pourquoi ne pouvons-nous pas avoir les deux ? » devrait pouvoir s’appliquer. Par conséquent, nous avons besoin d’une réglementation des technologies innovantes fondée sur les ns plutôt que sur les moyens an de garantir l’atteinte de certains résultats souhaités. Si une technologie spécique est stipulée à court terme, en raison de préoccupations telles que l’interférence, des dispositions doivent être prises pour qu’une technologie plus récente déclenche une clause de caducité, connue en anglais sous le nom de « sunset clause »

Des conditions doivent être créées pour que les investissements spéculatifs dans les innovations technologiques puissent être réalisés en Europe, plutôt que de simplement adopter les technologies développées à l’étranger. Libérer les nouvelles technologies des réglementations existantes est essentiel pour permettre à l’Union européenne de devenir un lieu d’expérimentation technologique. On se plaint constamment de l’absence d’entreprises importantes et innovantes dans le secteur numérique, mais c’est en libérant l’innovation de sa réglementation tatillonne que l’Europe pourra obtenir de tels succès.

Bill Wirtz est analyste des politiques publiques pour le Consumer Choice Center, think tank libéral dont l’objectif est de peser sur l’élaboration des réglementations par les institutions nationales et internationales.

Originally published at https://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2018/11/16/en-europe-la-securite-juridique-fait-obstacle-a-une-evolution-rapide-de-l-internet-des-objets_5384173_3232.html

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About Bill Wirtz

Bill Wirtz is policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center, based in Brussels, Belgium. Originally from Luxembourg, his articles have appeared across the world in English, French, German, and Luxembourgish. He is Editor-in-Chief of Speak Freely, the blog of European Students for Liberty, a contributing editor for the Freedom Today Network and a regular contributor for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). He blogs regularly on his website in four languages.

Province unveils its first economic outlook and fiscal review

THE SAULT STAR: The move for the extended hours is welcomed by the Consumer Choice Centre.

David Clement, North American Affairs manager for Consumer Choice Centres said “There is still a lot that needs to be done to modernize Ontario’s alcohol regulations. As we know from polling data, Ontario residents want increased access and for the province to move beyond its outdated model,” he said.

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About David Clement

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center and is based out of Oakville, Ontario. David holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations from Wilfrid Laurier University. Previously, David was the Research Assistant to the Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights. David has been regularly featured on the CBC, Global News, The Toronto Star and various other major Canadian news outlets.

Banning milkshakes won’t prevent obesity

Core Tip: This week, campaign group Action on Sugar has called for bans on high-sugar milkshakes, such as the Instagrammable ‘freakshakes’, but this approach won’t prevent obesity, says Maria Chaplia, Consumer Choice Center Media Associate.
This week, campaign group Action on Sugar has called for bans on high-sugar milkshakes, such as the Instagrammable ‘freakshakes’, but this approach won’t prevent obesity, says Maria Chaplia, Consumer Choice Center Media Associate.

“In case the milkshake ban proposed by the Action on Sugar receives support from the governmnent, consumers will be subjected to a yet another futile lifestyle regulation,” she says. “The evidence shows that Government-led navigation of consumer’s preferences doesn’t improve public health.

“It is undoubted that obesity is a pressing issue across the world. Most anti-obesity government programmes seek to reduce energy intake, but this approach hasn’t proved successful so far. Numerous evidence indicates that weight excess can be cured through the increase in energy expenditure, achieved through physical activity.”

She added: “According to Public Health England, physical activity in the UK declined by 24 per cent since the 1960s. The average energy consumption followed and has recently dropped too.

“If a 300-calorie ‘grotesquely sugary’ milkshake is unavailable on the market, consumers will opt for a couple of Cadbury’s chocolate bars, 230 calories each. Government is incapable of stopping consumers from making harmful choices through coercion, it can focus on encouraging healthy attitudes though.

“The UK nanny state primarily targets food, tobacco and alcohol and has been recognised as one of the most meddlesome in Europe. Step by step, it has been taking over the freedom to choose and imposing its lifestyle preferences on consumers.

“NHS Christmas dinner guidelines, a sugar levy and now a suggested ban on milkshakes are not only ineffective nutrition regulations, they are warning signs of further interventions.”

FDA Unveils Anti-Tobacco Measures

VALLEY NEWS: Gottlieb, in pursuing his tobacco strategy, is taking some flak from fellow conservatives. “The administration promised less regulation — without sacrificing protections,” said Jeff Stier, a senior fellow at the Consumer Choice Center. “So if the FDA fails to meet both objectives — by announcing a heavy-handed regulatory plan — President Trump should realize that the current leadership at the FDA is not equipped to implement the administration’s policy agenda.” But Gottlieb’s boss, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar signaled his support for the FDA in a statement.

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About Jeff Stier

Jeff Stier is a Senior Fellow at the Consumer Choice Center. Mr. Stier has been a frequent guest on CNBC, and has addressed health policy on CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, as well as network newscasts. He is a guest on over 100 radio shows a year, including on NPR and top-rated major market shows in cities including Boston, Philadelphia, and Sacramento, plus syndicated regional broadcasts. Jeff’s op-eds have been published in top outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, Forbes, The Washington Examiner, and National Review Online.

Government to extend hours to buy booze

BAY TODAY: David Clement, Toronto-based North American Affairs Manager of the Consumer Choice Center said: “Expanded retail hours for alcohol sales definitely benefits consumers. Expanding retail hours is a good first step, but there is still a lot that needs to be done to modernize Ontario’s alcohol regulations. As we know from polling data, Ontario residents want increased access and for the province to move beyond its outdated model.

“Now that hours are expanded, it is time to allow for private retail sale in Ontario convenience stores, and to end the LCBO’s monopoly on the sale of spirits,” said Clement.

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About David Clement

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center and is based out of Oakville, Ontario. David holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations from Wilfrid Laurier University. Previously, David was the Research Assistant to the Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights. David has been regularly featured on the CBC, Global News, The Toronto Star and various other major Canadian news outlets.

FDA announces sweeping new regulations on e-cigarette sales

UPS: But Gottlieb has received some pushback from consumer groups.

“The administration promised less regulation — without sacrificing protections,” said Jeff Stier, a senior fellow at the Consumer Choice Center, the Washington Post reported. “So if the FDA fails to meet both objectives — by announcing a heavy-handed regulatory plan — President Trump should realize that the current leadership at the FDA is not equipped to implement the administration’s policy agenda.”

READ MORE

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About Jeff Stier

Jeff Stier is a Senior Fellow at the Consumer Choice Center. Mr. Stier has been a frequent guest on CNBC, and has addressed health policy on CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, as well as network newscasts. He is a guest on over 100 radio shows a year, including on NPR and top-rated major market shows in cities including Boston, Philadelphia, and Sacramento, plus syndicated regional broadcasts. Jeff’s op-eds have been published in top outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, Forbes, The Washington Examiner, and National Review Online.

FDA unveils sweeping anti-tobacco effort to reduce underage vaping and smoking

THE WASHINGTON POST: Gottlieb, in pursuing his tobacco strategy, is taking some flak from fellow conservatives. “The administration promised less regulation — without sacrificing protections,” said Jeff Stier, a senior fellow at the Consumer Choice Center. “So if the FDA fails to meet both objectives — by announcing a heavy-handed regulatory plan — President Trump should realize that the current leadership at the FDA is not equipped to implement the administration’s policy agenda.” But Gottlieb’s boss, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar signaled his support for the FDA in a statement.

READ MORE

mm

About Jeff Stier

Jeff Stier is a Senior Fellow at the Consumer Choice Center. Mr. Stier has been a frequent guest on CNBC, and has addressed health policy on CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, as well as network newscasts. He is a guest on over 100 radio shows a year, including on NPR and top-rated major market shows in cities including Boston, Philadelphia, and Sacramento, plus syndicated regional broadcasts. Jeff’s op-eds have been published in top outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, Forbes, The Washington Examiner, and National Review Online.

Banning milkshakes won’t prevent obesity, says consumer specialist

This week, campaign group Action on Sugar has called for bans on high-sugar milkshakes, such as the Instagrammable ‘freakshakes’, but this approach won’t prevent obesity, says Maria Chaplia, Consumer Choice Center Media Associate.

“In case the milkshake ban proposed by the Action on Sugar receives support from the government, consumers will be subjected to a yet another futile lifestyle regulation,” she says. “The evidence shows that Government-led navigation of consumer’s preferences doesn’t improve public health.

“It is undoubted that obesity is a pressing issue across the world. Most anti-obesity government programmes seek to reduce energy intake, but this approach hasn’t proved successful so far. Numerous evidence indicates that weight excess can be cured through the increase in energy expenditure, achieved through physical activity.”

She added: “According to Public Health England, physical activity in the UK declined by 24 per cent since the 1960s. The average energy consumption followed and has recently dropped too.

“If a 300-calorie ‘grotesquely sugary’ milkshake is unavailable on the market, consumers will opt for a couple of Cadbury’s chocolate bars, 230 calories each. Government is incapable of stopping consumers from making harmful choices through coercion, it can focus on encouraging healthy attitudes though.

“The UK nanny state primarily targets food, tobacco and alcohol and has been recognised as one of the most meddlesome in Europe. Step by step, it has been taking over the freedom to choose and imposing its lifestyle preferences on consumers.

“NHS Christmas dinner guidelines, a sugar levy and now a suggested ban on milkshakes are not only ineffective nutrition regulations, they are warning signs of further interventions.”

Originally published at https://fdiforum.net/mag/banning-milkshakes-wont-prevent-obesity/

The Science-Based Community and E-Cigarettes

Government agencies populated with scientists people are pleased to call “experts” are often thought to be above the ordinary give-and-take of politics and, especially, immune to the clarion calls of activists and pressure of public opinion. Scientific experts, or “the science-based community,” is supposed to be driven by data and evidence, not the naked pressure of agenda driven interests. As we will see in the case of the Food and Drug Administration’s relationship to e-cigarette regulation, these assumptions about the impartiality of scientists don’t always hold water.

The FDA is readying a new action plan to be announced soon concerning e-cigarettes. Nobody knows what the agency will do. But it really shouldn’t be so complicated.

E-cigarettes are not entirely safe and they should not be used by kids.

At the same time, combustible cigarettes are around 95 percent more dangerous than e-cigarettes. Many adults who have not been able to quit smoking using other methods have now completely quit with the help of a wide variety of these far-less harmful non-combustible alternatives.

The FDA must finally formulate sensible, science-based policies to achieve two key goals:

1) Enforce existing rules that ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.

2) Support adult smokers who attempt to quit with e-cigarettes, as recommended by the American Cancer Society.

The FDA says that because of “news reports,” public opinion, and data about youth use that the agency hasn’t released, it is threatening to take draconian steps to make e-cigarettes less appealing and harder to get for adult smokers. The Washington Post reported on Thursday that the agency plans to remove e-cigarette pods and flavored e-cigarettes from most outlets until a manufacturer applies for and receives approval for each product. The agency is also warning that it may ban sales everywhere except in vape shops.

This posture represents a dramatic and surprising reversal from July 2017, when the agency announced a new “comprehensive regulatory plan” for tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, which embraced the idea of tobacco harm reduction.

Commissioner Scott Gottleib, M.D., stated that the plan required “demonstrating a greater awareness that nicotine—while highly addictive—is delivered through products that represent a continuum of risk and is most harmful when delivered through smoke particles in combustible cigarettes.” In other words, we should be more concerned about the smoke delivery system than we are about nicotine itself.

As part of that plan, the FDA extended the application deadline in order to give the agency time to first issue “foundational rules to make the product review process more efficient, predictable, and transparent for manufacturers.” Although the FDA has failed to establish those rules, it is now threatening to undo the extension by fiat.

Commissioner Gottlieb spoke clearly last year, explaining that, “Unless we change course, 5.6 million young people alive today will die prematurely later in life from tobacco use.” As the FDA has stated, cigarette smoking is by far the leading cause of tobacco-related disease.

Gottlieb continued, “Envisioning a world where cigarettes would no longer create or sustain addiction, and where adults who still need or want nicotine could get it from alternative and less harmful sources, needs to be the cornerstone of our efforts—and we believe it’s vital that we pursue this common ground.”

But in the last two months, under intense pressure from activists, the FDA has abandoned that common ground. Instead, it is pitting the proper goal of preventing youth use against the other proper goal of helping adult smokers quit. These goals are not and cannot be seen as mutually exclusive.

The news reports and the public opinion the FDA is largely relying upon to justify this about-face have been generated by pressure groups who want non-medicinal nicotine products off the market entirely.

Sound science isn’t an obstacle for those hell-bent on removing e-cigarettes from the market. Consider the latest creepy video from a group known as “The Truth,” featuring puppets, which at once seems to target kids, journalists, and politicians alike. The text under the video states that vaping “…MAKES YOU 4X MORE LIKELY TO START SMOKING CIGARETTES.”

Actually, the latest study, by Rand, concludes otherwise: “EC use among youth is prospectively associated with progression toward greater cigarette use.” Are kids who engage in risky behaviors such as vaping also more likely to start smoking? Absolutely. Does vaping “make” or cause youth to start smoking? That’s not what the evidence says.

The Truth knows better than to confuse association with causation…at least accidentally.

Can’t we agree that kids absolutely shouldn’t use e-cigarettes without intentionally misleading kids by exaggerating the risks? Meanwhile, reporters were the real puppets, repeating unsupported assertions without scrutiny. This, in turn, has led to distorted public opinion. And as the FDA now concedes, that opinion contributed to its threatened reversal on e-cigarettes.

But it’s not too late. In its new plan, the FDA should implement this rational common ground by taking the following three steps:

1) Focus on the bad actors. The FDA should act swiftly and forcefully, as it has the authority to do, against any retailer caught selling an e-cigarette to a minor. In an October 31st announcement, the agency properly acknowledged it must do more, including preventing youth access through social sources.

2) The FDA must work constructively with the industry it regulates. Reports indicate it has begun doing so, to prevent youth initiation, while at the same time permitting recreational nicotine products not only to remain on the market but to be developed to appeal to adult smokers. To do so, it should announce long-promised product standards which would allow the private sector to develop and then market lower-risk nicotine products to attract even more adult smokers. Those standards should distinguish between sweet flavors which adults also enjoy and the marketing of those flavors. There’s no need, for example, to label sweet flavored e-cigarettes “gummy bear.”

3) Make good on the promise to change misconceptions about nicotine, which, while addictive, is not the major cause of tobacco-related disease. Everyone should have a right to accurate information about the risks of vaping, including the risks as compared to smoking, as Public Health England has donewith much success.

What should FDA not do?

1) Remove e-cigarettes from any outlet, such as convenience stores and gas stations, where adults regularly purchase the e-cigarettes that made them non-smokers. Vape shops offer valuable quit-smoking advice and are generally among the most responsible vendors. But convenience stores are, well, convenient. Quitting is hard enough as it is. We should want lower-risk products to be available to adult smokers in the same places they have been buying their cigarettes for decades.

Further, collective punishment of entire classes of retailers punishes the responsible vendors who are necessary to implement widespread harm reduction.

2) Allow either side to erode common ground. Just as the FDA shouldn’t be lenient with those who sell or give e-cigarettes to kids, it shouldn’t allow false assertions about the risks of e-cigarettes to stand unchallenged. Misleading statements influence policy-making, even if only by distorting public opinion. Worse, campaigns which exaggerate the risks of e-cigarettes harm public health by giving adult smokers all they need not to try quitting: another excuse.

3) Fall prey to the notion that the FDA has in its power the ability prevent every last youth from every trying an e-cigarette. Commissioner Gottlieb said in September: “It’s now clear to me, that in closing the on-ramp to kids, we’re going to have to narrow the off-ramp for adults who want to migrate off combustible tobacco and onto e-cigs.”

Completely preventing youth from experimenting with risky products is impossible. It was impossible in the days of prohibition and it is even more impossible today. Products which appeal to youth also appeal to adult smokers. And products which don’t appeal to youth, won’t appeal to many adult smokers. This is why stores like Walgreens are permitted to offer fruit flavored nicotine gum, even without a prescription. Kids generally don’t buy it. Neither do most smokers.

Design appeal, a variety of flavors, and availability are all necessary components to effectively implement tobacco harm reduction for adult smokers. What’s not necessary is allowing kids to buy or use them.

When giving the FDA authority to regulate recreational lower-risk nicotine products, Congress believed the FDA could be sophisticated enough to at once prevent youth use while helping adults quit smoking. Sadly, to date, the FDA has accomplished little on either front. These failures don’t justify a misplaced “crackdown” on e-cigarettes and responsible sellers. They require an intensive focus on stopping the bad actors.

If the FDA doesn’t get it right— this month—President Trump should ask Gottlieb, in an exit interview, why the agency couldn’t achieve a central promise of the Trump presidency: improve our lives not with more regulation, but with less of it, wisely implemented.

This could very well be another case where the common sense instincts of an elected politician trump the scientific instincts of scientists trying to apply them within a political context. Scientific and political expertise, after all, is not the same thing.

Originally published at https://www.amgreatness.com/2018/11/13/the-science-based-community-and-e-cigarettes/

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About Jeff Stier

Jeff Stier is a Senior Fellow at the Consumer Choice Center. Mr. Stier has been a frequent guest on CNBC, and has addressed health policy on CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, as well as network newscasts. He is a guest on over 100 radio shows a year, including on NPR and top-rated major market shows in cities including Boston, Philadelphia, and Sacramento, plus syndicated regional broadcasts. Jeff’s op-eds have been published in top outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, Forbes, The Washington Examiner, and National Review Online.