UK scientist Dr. Russell heads to Washington to discuss Cole-Bishop Amendment

Dr. Christopher Russell works for the Centre for Substance Use Research in Scotland as a Senior Research Fellow where he leads a team of scientists in researching the psychological effects when people try to quit smoking.  He is also the founder of an online support group named Vapers Helping Smokers to Quit, and this peer-to-peer network has even been featured in Forbes Magazine for its noble efforts in the fight against tobacco addiction. Now, Dr. Russell is taking his cause on the road, heading to Washington, D.C. to promote the Cole-Bishop Amendment.

This proposed revision to the FDA deeming regulations has already passed the House Appropriations Committee on April 19, 2016, and is named for its co-creators, Rep. Sanford Bishop (D – GA) and Rep. Tom Cole (R – OK).  The bill attempts to move forward the included predicate date of February 15, 2007 to at least the day in which the deeming regulations went into effect, which is May 5, 2016.  If the date remains unchanged, then nearly 99% of all vaping products currently on the market will be adversely affected, which could potentially wipe out the entire vaping industry and bankrupt thousands of small businesses.

Dr. Russell meets with key politicians over Cole-Bishop Amendment

Scotland’s Dr. Russell is highly-regarded in his field, even among the American elite scientific community.  He’s been published in such noteworthy publications as the International Journal of Drug Policy, the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, and Drugs Education Prevention, among others.  So, when the Vapor Technology Association (VTA) heard that Russell wanted to promote the Cole-Bishop Amendment to congressional members in Washington, D.C., they paved the way for an introduction.  Thanks to the VTA, Dr. Russell was successful in meeting with several Senate Committees and powerful politicians, including:

* Senate Committee on Appropriations
* Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
* Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
* Senator Cassidy (R-LA)
* Senator Barrasso (R-WY)
* Senator Heinrich (D-NM)

Russell discussed several issues related to the FDA deeming regulations and the Cole-Bishop Amendment.  He discussed scientific research conducted by his team that indicates certain potentially negative public health effects if e-cigs and vaping products were no longer available to the American Public.  When interviewing 9,040 vapers over the issue of the FDA deeming regulations potentially eradicating the vaping industry as we know it, Dr. Russell concludes that over 60% of the participates would respond in one or more of the following ways:

  • They would stock up on vaping technology and e-liquids prior to the FDA regulations wiping out the entire industry.
  • The would import their products from overseas vendors.
  • They would resort to Black Market suppliers with essentially zero government oversight.
  • They would begin making DIY e-liquids, significantly increasing the dangers to their own personal health.

Russell goes on to state that Congress has complete control to prevent these sorts of catastrophic events from happening by passing the Cole-Bishop Amendment.  But they must act quickly.  Under the existing regulatory framework provided by the new FDA deeming regulations, e-cigs and vaping products would still be heavily regulated by the federal government.  Moving the predicate date forward does not change anything, except making it easier for vapers to avoid the temptation to return to tobacco cigarettes post-FDA deeming regulations.

Article Credit: Matt Rowland

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