The American Vapor Manufacturers (AVM) recently announced that they had secured an hour-long Q&A forum with Dr. Brian King on Feb 24, 2023 at 1PM Eastern time.
The discussion has been titled “The Future of Vaping in the US: A Conversation with FDA’s Dr. Brian King.” This title certainly alludes to the topics of discussion that will likely be brought up with King.
The virtual forum will be led and moderated by Alli Boughner, the Vice President of AVM, and Gregory Conley. Conley is not only the Director of Legislative and External Affairs of AVM, but also a prominent tobacco harm reduction (THR) advocate in the United States.
The public has been given the opportunity to register with AVM and submit their questions. While these most likely will not comprise the entirety of the Q&A, it will likely be a significant portion, making it worthwhile for people to partake.
The Expectations of the Q&A
The event has likely drummed up a decent amount of interest, particularly given its strong title and the FDA’s recent activity.
As with a lot of other industries, a large section of the world looks towards the US and its various agencies for guidance. Gaining insight into what the FDA has in store for vaping in 2023 and perhaps the not-so-distant future has the potential to be incredibly helpful or damning for those both inside and outside the US.
What Will Most Likely Be Asked?
While it will be hard to pinpoint exactly the structure of the moderated questions, there are some topics that will all but certainly be asked en masse. These are some of the most likely of those:
- The effectiveness of flavor bans: This is something that many people are wondering lately. Underage vaping is always the reason for introducing flavor bans, but time and time again, these bans introduce greater risk than benefit. A question about why the FDA is allowing them is very likely.
- The premarket tobacco application process: Without a doubt, there will be a question on the PMTA process. It has been one of the biggest blunders in the agency’s history and people want answers.
- The agency’s unwillingness to promote vapes as a THR tool, despite acknowledging its potential: King fairly recently admitted that it is a known fact that vaping is healthier than traditional smoking, and yet the FDA is on a crusade against the healthier alternative.
- The lack of menthol-flavored vapes being approved: The FDA has rejected a huge swath of menthol vape products, leaving only tobacco-flavored products on the very short list of those authorized – why?
- The damning findings from the Reagan-Udall investigation released last year: The FDA and King have remained very quiet on a number of issues regarding the agency’s methodology and decision-making.
Who Is Brian King?
Dr. Brian King is currently the Director of the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) under the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He was appointed to the position in July 2022.
One question that may come up from frustrated vape advocates is this: What has King done since his appointment?
This would most likely be the result of King remaining largely silent during his time as director. This is a combination of the scrutiny he has received over previous comments and the immense pressure the FDA is currently facing as a result of the PMTA process.
The vaping community has wanted to get face-to-face with King for a long time now, often being just out of reach by implementing means to blatantly ignore them. The two parties having committed to this Q&A is an interesting point in time for the American vape industry to say the least.
King’s Stance On Vaping
One of the main issues the vaping community had with King’s appointment to director is his checkered history with it.
King has certainly not been afraid to speak out against vaping as a whole, despite having often little to nothing to back up his statements.
A lot of people in the vaping community, particularly those who like to keep up to date with the science, will likely first have heard of King during the EVALI debacle – a lung condition caused by blackmarket THC vape cartridges that e-cigarettes and nicotine vapes were incorrectly blamed for.
Another notch in King’s belt is his constant naysaying when it has come to the potential benefits of vaping. He has been no stranger to criticizing the practice, often with little evidence behind his statements.
This changed nearing the end of last year when he, and subsequently the FDA, acknowledged the reduced harm that comes from vaping when compared to traditional cigarettes. Despite this, the FDA has continued on its path of rejecting countless vaping products that can help save lives.
Who Is The American Vapor Manufacturers?
The AVM is a group of vaping advocates that have made continual strides in promoting science-backed facts, educating the public, and fighting against the occasionally ludicrous legislation that is being implemented throughout the US.
It is composed of a number of vaping companies, consisting mostly of retailers and manufacturers.
The AVM has been hugely critical of King since he first came into the public eye for his various comments and spreading of misinformation.
As mentioned, AVM has lobbied very hard for an opportunity like this to get some answers from the FDA regarding their decision-making and to understand their thought process behind it all.
The public will get the chance to ask Dr. Brian King of the FDA’s Center of Tobacco Products their most pertinent questions on February 24. This will be one of the first opportunities that the public has received to make their voices heard and with any luck, gain an insight into what the future holds for the legal landscape for vaping in the US.
Be sure to register and submit your questions with AVM.