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LETTER: Hoeven and Heitkamp should support the Cole-Bishop Act

Over 55% of adult smokers in North Dakota have tried to quit at some point. While some are never able to kick the habit, many have succeeded through using vapor products. As the owner of a vape shop in Dickinson, I have seen these results first-hand.

 

Over 55% of adult smokers in North Dakota have tried to quit at some point. While some are never able to kick the habit, many have succeeded through using vapor products.

As the owner of a vape shop in Dickinson, I have seen these results first-hand. Research shows vapers are more likely than non-vapers to try quitting smoking and more likely to stay smoke-free longer. One study from Cancer Research UK found that vape shops provide valuable behavioral support that helps customers stay smoke-free.

Unfortunately, new regulations from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are working against smokers who want to switch to vaping by making every product that came to market after 2007 go through an expensive and lengthy re-approval process. Since many companies cannot afford the application costs, ranging from $350,000 to $500,000, these regulations will cut off smoke-free options.

Instead of making it harder for smokers to quit, the FDA should be making it easier, which is why I support the Cole-Bishop Act. This bipartisan legislation will put in place common-sense regulations on the vaping industry while ensuring that the FDA does not limit smoke-free alternatives for those seeking to use them.

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As a former smoker, business owner, and consumer of these important smoking cessation products, I urge our U.S. Senators, John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp, to support the Cole-Bishop Act. With their support, Congress can protect small vaping businesses like mine, while helping thousands of North Dakotans who use these products that lead to better, smoke-free lives.

Brad Coleman, Dickinson

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