In DepthScience Policy

FDA enforcement actions plummet under Trump

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Science  05 Jul 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6448, pp. 12-13
DOI: 10.1126/science.365.6448.12

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  • RE: Ban flavoured e-cigarettes by Trump Administration insufficient
    • Moreno Paolini, Full Professor in Pharmacology and Biochemical Toxicology, Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology – University of Bologna
    • Other Contributors:
      • Silvia Cirillo, Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology – University of Bologna

    The claiming of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to restrict some sweet vaping flavorus that induce teens to approach the electronic cigarette (e-cigarette, e-cig) in order to counteract the rising number of vapers among high school students and the growing number of deaths related to e-cigarette use could be insufficient. Indeed, although the huge variety of flavoured e-liquids on the market constitutes an efficient but attractive not only for traditional smokers but, above all, for non-smoking including teenagers, the continuous evolution in the e-cig technology makes these devices extremely customizable, eliminating any attempt of predicting the toxicological effects on large population. However, the individual settings of e-cigarette voltage or resistance, then the wattage which is the ultimate factor responsible of the generation of a plethora of toxins, automatically personalizes the dangerous effects for the vaper himself (1). While banning aromas could constitute an important first step in e-cig regulation, and without here forgetting the health concerns for children and teenagers that could find in the e-cig a new gateway to smoking habit, we believe that Public Consumer Protection Authority should ensure that manufacturing companies produce technically unchangeable devices for consumers.


    1. S. Cirillo, F. Vivarelli, E. Turrini, C. Fimognari, S. Burattini, E. Falcieri, M.B.L. Rocchi, V. Cardenia, M.T. Rodriguez-Estrada, M. Paolini,...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.
  • RE: Sensationalism vs. Scientific Accuracy: 'Poorly' Illustrated News Item on FDA Enforcement

    Dear Editors,

    As a 25+ year Science reader I was disappointed to see the sensationalistic and erroneous illustrations prominently displayed for the July 5 News item entitled "FDA enforcement actions plummet under Trump" pp 3 & 12-13. Two large (one half page) illustrations appear on page 3 and page 12 depicting roughly an 85% decrease in FDA 'warning letters' with Obama and Trump images on the respective stacks of 'warning letters', while the text of the article states such warning letters have in fact decreased by "one-third"! 85% and 33% are nowhere near the same value, and I can only attribute this gross exaggeration in two large illustrations to a sensationalistic desire to manipulate the reader... However the final result was quite different for this reader; if such a simple fact can be prominently misrepresented to that extent, the entire investigative report is suddenly suspect as a polemic.
    Please keep article illustrations accurately in line with the contents of the articles they illustrate and avoid senationalism and cartoonish graphics in what is a leading science magazine.

    Glen T. Penfield - Director
    Chicxulub Geosciences,
    Three Sugar Creek Center, Suite 100
    Sugarland, Texas 77478

    Competing Interests: None declared.

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