FDA Announces Rules to Regulate E-cigarettes

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FDA announces plans to regulate e-cigarettes

After saying they would regulate e-cigarettes three years ago, the Food and Drug Administration is now proposing regulation to ban sales to minors, and require warning labels as well as federal approval. They will also control cigars, pipe tobacco, hookahs, and dissolvable tobacco products. The FDA currently only regulates cigarettes, roll-you-own tobacco and smokeless products like snuff.

Considering that tobacco is the leading cause of death in disease in the country, they will be required to report their ingredients and will not be allowed to offer free tobacco samples or sell in vending machines. The FDA however, will not be banning advertising or flavored products that may attract children.

Because of the popularity of e-cigarettes through promotion on TV and with celebrities it may actually be luring children towards tobacco instead of helping people stop their habits. Some states have already banned e-cigarette use in indoor smoking restricted areas.

E-cigarettes do not have the same chemicals that are known to cause harm like in normal cigarettes, but the FDA did find trace amounts of toxic and carcinogenic ingredients.  Since e-cigarettes have not been studied, many consumers do not know the amount of nicotine or other chemicals they are consuming.

The e-cigarette manufacturers are arguing in response that their products should not be regulated as tightly as conventional cigarettes, but have obliged in not selling to minors. The FDA appears to be treating them the same as conventional cigarettes regardless of the advices.

Source: USA Today, “FDA announces rules restricting e-cigarettes and cigars,” Wendy Koch, April 24, 2014.

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