'Let’s not forget the overwhelming risk to public health'
DES MOINES — Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller issued the following statement regarding the announcement today by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration:
"We are concerned about the impact of the FDA’s actions, particularly the unintended consequences of pulling from the market less harmful alternatives to cigarettes. We believe the best information available indicates that most youths are not getting e-cigarettes from vape shops and that a significant number of adults are using products from vape shops to move away from combustible cigarettes.
"Let’s not forget the overwhelming risk to public health: The CDC estimates the burden of tobacco use in the United States is 480,000 lives a year, all of which is due to the use of cigarettes.
"We believe in the strong, science-based regulation of alternative tobacco products, and the FDA is the best agency to undertake that task. Policy makers must strike the right balance between making accessible potentially lifesaving lower-risk nicotine products while discouraging use by those who wouldn’t smoke, especially youth.
"This quote from a recent piece by 15 former presidents of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco bears repeating:
'We believe the potential lifesaving benefits of e-cigarettes for adult smokers deserve attention equal to the risks to youths. Millions of middle-aged and older smokers are at high risk of near-future disease and death. Quitting reduces risk.' "