U.S. Food and Drug Administration Proposes E-Cigarette Regulations

April 29, 2014

For the first time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed federal regulations on electronic cigarettes, says the Wall Street Journal.

  • The new rules would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and would require makers to get FDA approval to sell their products.
  • They will have to provide scientific evidence to back up any claims that e-cigarettes are safer than traditional ones, and the FDA is requiring existing makers to apply to the agency within two years in order to keep their products on the shelves.
  • Manufacturers must also disclose chemicals in the devices and warn users that the nicotine could be addictive.

The rules are less stringent than many in the industry had expected, but some remain wary that the FDA may issue more restrictive regulations down the road. Still, e-cigarette makers expressed their satisfaction with the proposals.

E-cigarette opponents, who see the devices as a gateway to traditional cigarettes, criticized the regulations for doing nothing to curb marketing of the products. But studies suggest that e-cigarettes help some traditional smokers quit smoking. Manufacturers contend that limiting advertising or the use of flavors would decrease the likelihood that traditional smokers would migrate toward e-cigarettes.

States and cities have also begun passing their own regulations to restrict e-cigarette sales.

Source: Thomas M. Burton and Mike Esterl, "E-Cigarettes Face First Regulations," Wall Street Journal, April 24, 2014.

 

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