Fact check: Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine is FDA-approved; cigarettes are not

The claim: The Food and Drug Administration approved cigarettes

© Jens Schlueter, Getty Images A medical worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine against Covid-19 at a vaccination center on April 8, 2021 in Erfurt, Germany.

On Aug. 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The move opened the doors for companies, schools and governments to announce vaccination mandates.

In the following days, anti-vaccine advocates wrongly claimed the FDA approval meant “nothing” since the agency also approved tobacco products.

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

“Just so everyone is clear.. FDA also approved cigarettes,” reads text in an image shared to Facebook Aug. 24.

“Friendly reminder: Cigarettes are FDA approved,” another Aug. 24 post says. 

But the FDA hasn’t approved cigarettes or any other tobacco products. And it doesn’t have the authority to ban them.

Fact check: FDA has fully approved Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine

The agency regulates how tobacco products can be manufactured, marketed and distributed. These regulations are different from the pre-market approval process the Pfizer vaccine had to go through.

USA TODAY reached out to several social media users who shared the claim for comment.

FDA doesn’t approve tobacco products

The FDA is charged with ensuring food, drugs, cosmetics and other products are safe for consumers. The agency regulates tobacco products, but it doesn’t approve them the same way it does drugs and biologics, which include vaccines.

Since tobacco products are inherently dangerous, the FDA does not approve them.

Fact check: Comparing Pfizer vaccine approval to cigarettes, alcohol is wrong

“There’s no such thing as a safe tobacco product, so FDA’s safe and effective standard for evaluating medical products is not appropriate for tobacco products,” the agency says on its website. “Instead, FDA regulates tobacco products based on a public health standard that considers the product’s risks to the population as a whole.”

To legally sell and distribute tobacco products in the U.S., manufacturers must apply for a marketing order that indicates the product complies with the law. The FDA does not have the authority to ban tobacco products.

Vaccines face more scrutiny, need pre-market approval

Unlike tobacco products, the FDA must approve vaccines before they are distributed to the public.

That was the case with Pfizer’s vaccine, which was tested in several clinical trials with tens of thousands of recipients before receiving FDA approval. 

© Mary Altaffer, AP Images Dr. Yomaris Pena extracts the last bit of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Corsi Houses in New York

On Dec. 11, the FDA approved the vaccine for emergency use in individuals 16 and older. The FDA grants emergency use authorizations to medical products if the Health and Human Services secretary declares a public health emergency and the product’s benefits outweigh its potential risks. 

On May 10, the Pfizer vaccine’s emergency use authorization was extended to those ages 12 to 15.

As part of the official FDA approval process, Pfizer had to submit a comprehensive biological license application that the agency used to evaluate data on the vaccine’s safety and efficacy. The 340,000-page application added to data previously submitted and reviewed in the emergency use application.

The license application reviewed data on the vaccine’s effects on 44,000 trial participants over several months. The trial results indicated the vaccine was 91% effective in protecting against COVID-19. 

Fact check: False claim that the FDA was involved in the controversial Tuskegee study

“Our scientific and medical experts conducted an incredibly thorough and thoughtful evaluation of this vaccine,” Dr. Peter Marks, director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in an Aug. 23 statement.

Our rating: False

The claim that the FDA approved cigarettes is FALSE because it is not supported by our research. The FDA does not approve tobacco products. Instead, it regulates their distribution and sale to reduce harm. The FDA’s tobacco regulations are different than the approval process vaccines like Pfizer’s must go through to gain official approval. The FDA does not have the authority to ban cigarettes.

Our fact-check sources:

  • USA TODAY, Aug. 23, Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine becomes first to win FDA’s full approval, paving way for boosters, mandates
  • USA TODAY, Aug. 24, With FDA approval of first COVID-19 vaccine, let the mandates begin: US military, Disney World, CVS Health and more
  • FDA, accessed Aug. 27, What We Do
  • FDA, accessed Aug. 27, FDA Organization
  • FDA, accessed Aug. 27, Is It Really ‘FDA Approved?’
  • FDA, accessed Aug. 27, Commonly Asked Questions: About the Center for Tobacco Products
  • FDA, Aug. 23, FDA Approves First COVID-19 Vaccine
  • World Health Organization, accessed Aug. 27, COVID-19 vaccines

Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here.

Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

Twitter: Employees must be fully vaccinated before returning to the office. Ascension: The private healthcare provider headquartered in St. Louis will require all employees to be vaccinated by November. Facebook: The company announced it would be requiring all workers in the U.S. to be fully vaccinated. United Airlines: New employees will have to be fully vaccinated. DoorDash: The food delivery service announced in a blog post that corporate workers would be required to be fully vaccinated if returning to offices. The Washington Post: New and current employees will be required to be vaccinated before returning to the office. Saks Fifth Avenue: The retailer will require that all employees be vaccinated. United Airlines:  All employees in the U.S. are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by late October. Lyft: Corporate employees must be fully vaccinated before returning to the office. Netflix: Employees must be fully vaccinated before returning to the office. Google: Employees must be fully vaccinated before returning to the office. Morgan Stanley: Employees will be required to be vaccinated before returning to office. Amtrak: New employees must show proof of vaccination before start of employment and current employees will be required to be fully vaccinated. Disneyland: The Walt Disney Company – parent company to Disney World and Disneyland –  requires all salaried and non-union hourly U.S. employees to be fully vaccinated. Employees working on-site will have 60 days to get vaccinated, and new hires will need to be fully vaccinated before beginning work.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine is FDA-approved; cigarettes are not

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


Whelen Modified Tour Added To Richmond Raceway April Schedule

© The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to Richmond Race… Whelen Modified Tour Added To Richmond Raceway April Schedule RICHMOND, Va. (Oct. 21, 2021) — Richmond Raceway expands the ... Read more »

What Is Panela Sugar? Learn All About This Popular Sweetener, Including How to Use It at Home

When it comes to natural sweeteners, you can’t go wrong with honey or maple syrup, but if you want to expand your arsenal of saccharine ingredients, look no further than ... Read more »

Current airline elite status match and challenge options you should know about

© Provided by The Points Guy MSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from ... Read more »

Attorney Says 'Probability Is Strong' Remains Recovered from Fla. Park Belong to Brian Laundrie

In an interview that aired on CNN, the lawyer for Brian Laundrie‘s family said the human remains recovered Wednesday from a Florida park are likely those of the missing man. ... Read more »

Colorado student says she was forced to tape mask to face

A Colorado middle school student says she was forced to tape a mask to her face during class. © Getty Images Colorado student says she was forced to tape mask ... Read more »

Brothers in arms: Darryn Binder joins older sibling Brad in MotoGP

South Africa rider Darryn Binder will join older brother Brad in MotoGP next season, racing alongside the experienced Andrea Dovizioso in Yamaha’s satellite team RNF, it was announced Thursday. © ... Read more »

Yes, I Would Try This Brain Surgery For My Treatment-Resistant Depression

© The Mighty photo of a woman standing on a shoreline at sunset looking out at the ocean As someone who has spent the better part of 20 years with ... Read more »

Report: Baker Mayfield likely to need surgery, hopes to wait until after season

© Provided by NBC Sports Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield will not play tonight because of the left shoulder injury that he has been playing through for weeks. His status for ... Read more »

Millions of lives could be saved by aggressive efforts to cut emissions: doctors

Millions of lives could be saved by aggressive efforts to cut carbon emissions, according to a report from doctors and health experts published in The Lancet. © Greg Nash Climate ... Read more »

Chris Stapleton forced to cancel concerts for vocal rest

Country star Chris Stapleton had some not-so-great news for fans in Nashville and Cincinnati this week as he postponed tour stops, per doctor’s orders. © Provided by Audacy Chris Stapleton ... Read more »

Everything You Need to Know About Valkyrae's Skin-Care Brand, RFLCT

© Sara Miranda/*Allure* By the time you read this today, you probably have already spent several minutes — nay, hours — staring at a screen. You may or may not ... Read more »

These people want to die. Will their countries allow euthanasia?

"We are sentenced to death ... in life," an Argentine lawyer with an incurable disease asked on social media as Latin American countries debate whether to allow euthanasia. Read more »

5 veterans on an advisory board to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema quit in protest, calling her 'one of the principal obstacles to progress'

© Mandel Ngan/Pool via AP Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., speaks during the Senate Finance Committee as Chris Magnus testifies on his nomination to be the next U.S. Customs and Border ... Read more »

Dems' domestic plans popular, but reward by voters unassured

WASHINGTON (AP) — Divided Democrats struggling to enact President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda are confronting one of Congress’ cruelest conundrums: Your goals may be popular, but that doesn’t ensure they’ll ... Read more »

Jing Gao​​ Thinks Sichuan Flavors Are Ever-Evolving

Welcome to Jing Gao​​’s Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we’re exploring five ... Read more »

Nordstom's Toy Shop Has More Than 1,200 Unusual Gifts Kids Didn't Even Know to Ask For

Every year, as we start to make our holiday shopping lists, there are certain toy and gift ideas for kids that come up over and over again. And that’s exactly ... Read more »

Surface Duo 2 review: Microsoft's folding phone is innovative, but impractical

Microsoft’s Surface Duo 2 is like a Swiss Army knife. It can morph into a digital book, a small tablet, a screen I can prop up just about anywhere or a ... Read more »

How Congress Could Expand Medicare Benefits to Cover Dental, Hearing and Vision

Democrats are trying to get their massive budget reconciliation bill passed, a process that has met with resistance from members of their own party. That means they will likely need to ... Read more »

Spotify Partners With Ali Tamposi and Tamar Kaprelian to Launch Song Start

In the past year, the work of songwriters has been pushed to the limelight: whether it was The Pact standing up for equity and fair treatment in publishing, or the ... Read more »

Lil Nas X Flies Home to Atlanta to Celebrate His Special Day

Lil Nas X Grammys are nice and so are hit singles. But nothing looks better on the wall than a plaque declaring your own day. Lil Nas X, 22, flew ... Read more »

Country star Travis Tritt canceling shows at sites with mandates

Country star Travis Tritt announced on Monday that he is canceling shows at concert venues that require masks, negative COVID-19 tests or proof of vaccination. © Associated Press/Wade Payne Country ... Read more »

Are You Hitting Your Sleep "Sweet Spot?" New Research Suggests Doing So Will Keep Your Brain Sharp

It seems as though the age-old saying “everything in moderation” applies to sleep, too. According to a new study highlighted by CNN and published in the journal Brain, getting roughly ... Read more »

Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 booster 95.6% effective against disease: study

Pfizer, Inc. and BioNTech SE announced Thursday that topline results from a Phase 3 trial found that a 30-microgram booster dose of the companies’ vaccine showed a relative vaccine efficacy ... Read more »

Impact and Torque Screwdrivers Are Must-Have Tools For Wrenching on Cars

I hate Phillips-head screws. I can’t help but wince whenever I’m faced with extracting one from any of my rusty and dilapidated project cars. Depending on where they’re located, I ... Read more »

Volvo recalls another 195,000 vehicles to replace airbag inflators

Volvo has recalled 194,546 vehicles built between 2001 and 2007 due to airbag inflators that “may explode during deployment, due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to high absolute ... Read more »

Toyota Tundra Capstone peak luxury trim in the works?

Toyota may be poised to introduce a new luxury-spec trim for its redesigned 2022 Tundra. Footage of a hybrid model sporting shiny wheels, chrome trim and a “Capstone” badge (reportedly ... Read more »

PDS Biotech Pauses Recruitment In PDS0101 Combo Cancer Trial

© Provided by Benzinga PDS Biotechnology Corporation (NASDAQ: PDSB) has temporarily suspended recruitment in the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-led Phase 2 trial of PDS0101 combo trial in advanced HPV cancers The issue is ... Read more »

Why Fannie Lou Hamer's definition of “freedom” still matters

We hear the term “freedom” bandied about rather loosely in this country. It’s one of those things people say they love, but are we really free? In many instances, “freedom” ... Read more »

Venues bringing back live music after year-plus hiatus in Madison, Chenango counties

Live music performances were nearly nonexistent for more than a year during the height of the pandemic. © MIKE JAQUAYS/MYW FILE PHOTO Area musicians gather for an acoustic jam session ... Read more »

Meghan McCain on How Her Relationship With Whoopi Goldberg Changed During the Pandemic (Exclusive)

© ET Meghan McCain is opening up about her relationship with her former The View co-host, Whoopi Goldberg. ET’s Rachel Smith spoke with McCain about her new audio memoir, Bad ... Read more »

To get reconciliation right, target the citizens who need help most

Congressional Democrats face many hard choices as they seek to fit an ambitious agenda of social spending on child care, college education and health care into a reconciliation bill with ... Read more »

Report: US must do more as worsening climate fuels migration

WASHINGTON (AP) — Worsening climate change requires that the United States do much more to track, ease and manage flows of refugees fleeing natural disasters, the Biden administration said Thursday ... Read more »

Manchin says he's not leaving Democrats

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) in an exclusive interview with The Hill on Thursday said he has no plan to leave the Democratic Party and has not threatened to do so. ... Read more »

Parkland killer Nikolas Cruz pleads guilty, FDA OKs mixing COVID boosters: 5 Things podcast

On today’s episode of the 5 Things podcast: Parkland killer Nikolas Cruz pleads guilty. The mass murderer will now try to avoid the death penalty after killing 17 people at ... Read more »

Pfizer: Trial Shows COVID-19 Booster Shot ‘Restored Vaccine Protection'

Pfizer on Thursday reported that the first efficacy results from a randomized, controlled COVID-19 booster shot trial found that a third dose of its shot restored protection to levels seen ... Read more »

What is your sleep ‘sweet spot'?

© Provided by The Telegraph Hitting the “magic number” of eight hours might not be so good for our health For many people, the thought of eight hours’ sleep is ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic