Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finally done what many folks have been waiting for, and that is regulating e cigarettes. For the longest time, the FDA chose to regulate cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll your own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco, but today the agency has brought e cigarettes into the fold.
Apart from e cigarettes, the FDA is also regulating cigars, pipe tobacco, nicotine gels, water pipe or hookah tobacco, and dissolvables.
The agency is looking to extend its authority over these unregulated products due to the implementation of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act that was signed by the President of the United States back in 2008.
According to the newly proposed rule, the makers of e cigarettes will be required to register with the FDA, and report ingredients and product listings. Furthermore, they will only have the ability to market their new products only after FDA review.
In addition, e cigarette makers can only make claims of reduced risk only if the FDA looks into the scientific evidence and confirms that it is legitimate and that marketing the product will have some benefits to the public at large.
Furthermore, the new regulation will ban e cigarette creators from distributing free samples. In addition, these products can no longer be sold to minors.
“We have far more questions than answers about who is using e cigarettes and how they’re being used,” says Mitch Zeller, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products.
We understand that the use of e cigarettes has doubled among high and middle school students from 2011 to 2012. More than 1.78 million students within the United States inhale nicotine laced vapor from these devices, claims the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
“What’s concerning is that high rate of rise,” said Dr. Hilary Tindle, assistant professor of medicine and director of the tobacco treatment service at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “Who knows where it will be next year, or the year after that? Everyone agrees that’s not a good thing. The least amount of regulation has to close that hole, so children can’t get access to them as easily.”
Calls to regulate e cigarettes have become stronger after several cases of poisoning were reported. Poison reports were about one per month in 2010, now that number has grown to 215 in February of this year.
At the moment, it is not yet clear if e cigarettes can help folks control their smoking habits, but we should be able to understand more about this with further studies.
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