Let’s talk about @FDAtobacco Brian King's discontent with facing public criticism. During his cursory remarks and abrupt departure at #GTNF today, King complained that “it’s very easy to be an armchair regulator from the luxury of a social media handle.” THREAD 🪡
Sir, you are a public official. You work for the taxpayers, and you are accountable to American citizens. We have every right to direct questions and critique your way and you have an ethical obligation to explain yourself.
What’s more, any discomfort that either you or your boss, Dr. Califf, may experience on Twitter pales in comparison to the devastating economic and public health consequences that are ongoing from your misguided policies on vaping.
Had you stuck around for the next session, you could have heard from several of those Americans. They included @imaracingmom, whose small business was cratered thanks to your office’s regulations.
She had saved her own life, saved the life of many of her customers, and now her business is gone and lots of those folks are returning to cigarettes.
But instead of listening or having a dialogue with her or taking questions from groups like ours or even in the press, you fled:
That’s irresponsible, it’s unprincipled, and it’s at odds with your public duty and the spirit of your role as a public official.
You also would have heard from Alex Clark, whose organization has collected testimonials from thousands of Americans about how vaping has saved their lives: casaa.org/_testimonials/
But engaging with the public seems to be your lowest priority, even though your decisions will have a direct impact on millions of lives and thousands of small businesses across the country.
We’ve tallied up your unwillingness to participate in meaningful dialogue below. Millions of people trying to quit cigarettes deserve better from officials who claim to be protecting public health.
Here is the question we were prepared to ask you. Does it seem unfair? Is it out of bounds to quote you and inquire if you will apply your own words to the policies of your office? Can we expect a candid answer from you?
Of course you have a standing invitation to have an open dialogue with us and other stakeholders on our podcast or, I’m sure, on any of the many other policy shows that occur in this space. Will you commit to taking part when your schedule permits?

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More from @VaporAmerican

Sep 26
🚨🔎🚨 New report from AVM uncovers the ulterior funding that drives the war on vaping. Huge in scale, with hundreds of millions bankrolling academia, NGOs, lobbyists, PR, lawyers, front groups, and even journalists, all doing the bidding of pompous, unaccountable billionaires.
Did you know that the anti-vaping movement is funded by 3 wealthy foundations - 2 headed by multi-billionaires and the other with a major stake in a smoking cessation product? We did a deep dive to show you what the media refuses to properly investigate.
Here’s a snapshot at the vast amount of money flowing among the wealthy foundations and deep-pocketed public health organizations that are driving misinformation about vaping in the U.S. and around the world. It’s a complex web, but it’s worth untangling.
Read 22 tweets
Sep 7
After months of evading public questions while @FDATobacco’s credibility implodes around him, Brian King hand-picked Politico for his first interview. The article is behind a ($10K subscription!) paywall but let’s unpack the key parts of this travesty.
Notice the framing: FDA’s too timid, FDA’s not doing enough, FDA coddles scofflaws. Those aspects are in hot dispute in nicotine policy world but @Katherineefoley just adopts the party line of the prohibitionists as the default.
There are independent scientists, policy experts, esteemed columnists of all stripes, and manufacturers galore who believe FDA has gone too far and on the wrong basis. Even internal FDA memos show the agency wanted a far less rigid process. That’s all disregarded.
Read 31 tweets
Aug 24
In response to our exposé on his ulterior funding, STAT reporter Nick Florko says he feels “attacked” and “won’t be cowed.” “I will continue to do my job as a journalist,” he insists. Let’s look closer at his misdirection.
Florko says he “made every effort…to include the perspective of AVM.” Asking us whether and how long we have been criminals is hardly a favor. And that’s the broader point Florko evades – STAT’s coverage mirrors its funder’s outlook on this issue.
Bloomberg and the prohibition groups are hounding FDA to increase the severity of a crackdown that has already demolished thousands of businesses and driven countless Americans back to cigarettes.
Read 15 tweets
Aug 24
Let's take a close look at @StatNews and reporter @NicholasFlorko, whose work on vaping policy has routinely pushed a prohibition agenda that is remarkably aligned with Bloomberg front groups.
STAT is owned by billionaire John Henry who also owns the Boston Globe. It promises “trusted and authoritative journalism about health, medicine, and the life sciences” and to “examine controversies and puncture hype.”
But a review by AVM of the more than three dozen stories STAT has done on vaping issues and policy since 2019 reveals consistently slanted reporting, discredited claims, and the near total exclusion of any expert sources or info that differs with hardline prohibition groups.
Read 28 tweets
Aug 21
UPDATE. It appears that the garbage article in Parade Magazine was a recycled piece that they first published in 2020, as @EIDGeek points out here. But wait, there's more!
The article was erroneous and irresponsible all along but by republishing and presenting it as fresh journalism, Parade has compounded the harm to readers and the public. So far, the editors have ignored all appeals to set the record straight. Image
Worse yet, Parade has a much broader track record of dangerously misleading the public on vaping than just this one article.
Read 11 tweets
Aug 19
Let’s talk about Reuters reporter Chris Kirkham, one of the most slanted and one-dimensional journalists covering vaping at a major outlet (a high bar indeed).
Reuters ran a piece by Kirkham this week that is shot through with key omissions and faulty assumptions. More on that in a second. First let’s take a look at his prior work on vaping. Image
Since 2018, Kirkham and Reuters have been cajoling FDA to outlaw vaping products and strip them from the market, including what he called “Juul copycats introduced…with no regulatory consequences [as part of a] campaign to subvert the world’s anti-smoking treaty.” Image
Read 21 tweets

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