Fda proposes first e-cigarette rules, including banning sales to minors

WASHINGTON The federal government wants to ban sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels under regulations being proposed by the Food and Drug Administration.

While the proposal being issued Thursday won’t immediately mean changes for the popular devices, the move is aimed at eventually taming the fast growing e cigarette industry.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

The agency said the proposal sets a foundation for regulating the products but the rules don’t immediately ban the wide array of flavors of e cigarettes, curb marketing on places like TV or set product standards.

Any further rules «will have to be grounded in our growing body of knowledge and understanding about the use of e cigarettes and their potential health risks or public health benefits,» Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said.

Once finalized, the agency could propose more restrictions on e cigarettes. Officials didn’t provide a timetable for that action.

Members of Congress and public health groups have raised concerns over e cigarettes and questioned their marketing tactics.

«When finalized (the proposal) would result in significant public health benefits, including through reducing sales to youth, helping to correct consumer misperceptions, preventing misleading health claims and preventing new products from entering the market without scientific review by FDA,» said Mitch Zeller, the director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products.

The FDA said the public, members of the industry and others will have 75 days to comment on the proposal. The agency will evaluate those comments before issuing a final rule but there’s no timetable for when that will happen. The regulations will be a step in a long process that many believe will ultimately end up being challenged in court.

E cigarettes are plastic or metal tubes, usually the size of a cigarette, that heat a liquid nicotine solution instead of burning tobacco. That creates vapor that users inhale.

Smokers like e cigarettes because the nicotine infused vapor looks like smoke but doesn’t contain the thousands of chemicals, tar or odor of regular cigarettes. Some smokers use e cigarettes as a way to quit smoking tobacco, or to cut down. However, there’s not much scientific evidence showing e cigarettes help smokers quit or smoke less, and it’s unclear how safe they are.

The industry started on the Internet and at shopping mall kiosks and has rocketed from thousands of users in 2006 to several million worldwide who can choose from more than 200 brands. Sales are estimated to have reached nearly $2 billion in 2013. Tobacco company executives have noted that they are eating into traditional cigarette sales, and their companies have jumped into the business.

Some believe lightly regulating electronic cigarettes might actually be better for public health overall, if smokers switch and e cigarettes really are safer. Others are raising alarms about the hazards of the products and a litany of questions about whether e cigarettes will keep smokers addicted or encourage others to start using e cigarettes, and even eventually tobacco products.

«Right now for something like e cigarettes, there are far more questions than answers,» Zeller said, adding that the agency is conducting research to better understand the safety of the devices and who is using them.

In addition to prohibiting sales to minors and requiring health labels that warn users that nicotine is an addictive chemical, e cigarette makers also would be required to register their products with the agency and disclose ingredients. They also would not be allowed to claim their products are safer than other tobacco products.

They also couldn’t use words such as «light» or «mild» to describe their products, give out free samples or sell their products in vending machines unless they are in a place open only to adults, such as a bar.

Companies also will be required to submit applications for premarket review within two years. As long as an e cigarette maker has submitted the application, the FDA said it will allow the products to stay on the market while they are being reviewed. That would mean companies would have to submit an application for all e cigarettes now being sold.

R. j. reynolds tobacco company — wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  1. a b Frank Tursi, Susan E. White and Steve McQuilkin (1999). «In the Belly of the Beast». Winston Salem Journal.
  2. «Who We Are». . Reynolds American. 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
  3. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Tursi, Frank (1994). Winston Salem A History. John F. Blair, publisher. pp. 110 11, 184, 196 197.
  4. Burrough, Bryan (2003). Barbarians at the Gate. HarperCollins. p. 40.
  5. a b c «A Stock History Sequence of Events». Retrieved 2012 03 23.
  6. Burrough, Bryan John Helyar (2003). Barbarians at the Gate The Fall of RJR Nabisco. New York HarperCollins. p. 592. ISBN 0 06 165554 6. Retrieved 27 June 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameters (help)
  7. «The high cost of parting ways with CEOs». CBC News. 9 June 2009. Retrieved 27 June 2010. dead link
  8. Mike Billips (24 July 1998). «Sons mind moguls’ money». Atlanta Business Chronicle. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
  9. Hilts, Philip J. (April 15, 1994). «Tobacco Chiefs Say Cigarettes Aren’t Addictive». The New York Times.
  10. «BBC Tobacco companies tell kids ‘Don’t smoke!'». Retrieved 2008 06 14.
  11. Helena Keers, «RJ Reynolds faces third EU suit» (November 1, 2002). Telegraph.
  12. «R.J. Reynolds wins dismissal of European Community’s RICO claims» (March 2011). Jones Day.
  13. Henry Weinstein and Myron Levin, «R.J. Reynolds Accused Of Black Market Deals» (October 31, 2002). Los Angeles Times.
  14. Tracey A. Basler, «Cigarettes, Smuggling, and Terror The European Community v. RJ Reynolds» (2004). 4 JICL 3.
  15. «Senior exec won’t go to jail in massive fraud case», CBC News, May 4, 2006
  16. Collins, Kristin. «Farm union targets RJR.» News & Observer. October 27, 2007.
  17. 1 «RJ Reynolds Closing Plant»
  18. Fischer PM, Schwartz MP, Richards JW Jr, Goldstein AO, Rojas TH. Brand logo recognition by children aged 3 to 6 years. Mickey Mouse and Old Joe the Camel. JAMA. 1991 Dec 11 266(22) 3145 8. PMID 1956101
  19. «RJR drops plan for downtown smoking lounge», Winston Salem Journal, June 9, 2007
  20. «Smoker wins nearly $1 million award from R.J Reynolds». The Ferraro Law Firm. May 23, 2011. Retrieved 2011 05 28.
  21. The Street Reynolds Liable for Damages in Smoker Case
  22. a b Ramirez, Anthony (1990 01 12). «A Cigarette Campaign Under Fire». The New York Times.
  23. «Mystery of the Bottom Opened Cigarette Pack». The New York Times. 1990 01 31.
  24. a b
  25. «Reynolds Building, Winston Salem». Retrieved 2009 12 03.
  26. Craver, Richard (2008 10 06). «R.J. Reynolds Tobacco to move out of historic building». Winston Salem Journal. Retrieved 2009 12 03. dead link
  27. «RJR Moving Into New Headquarters,» Twin City Sentinel, September 14, 1977.
  28. a b John Cleghorn, «RJR’s Farewell Present Division Moving to Winston Salem,» The Charlotte Observer, July 17, 1987.
  29. a b «Wake Forest Debates Use of RJR Gift,» The Charlotte Observer, February 7, 1987.
  30. «RJR Nabisco Plans to Move». The New York Times. 1987 01 16. Retrieved 2012 03 20.
  31. a b Richard Craver, «For use a lot of empty space,» Winston Salem Journal, May 30, 2010.
  32. «RJR Plaza Building». Retrieved 2009 12 03.
  33. Craver, Richard (2009 11 23). «Home of RJR on the market». Winston Salem Journal. Retrieved 2009 11 23.
  34. «R.J. Reynolds Tobacco to move out of historic building». The Winston Salem Journal. 2008 10 06. Retrieved 2012 03 27.
  35. «Proposed hotel at Reynolds Building could bring big economic benefits, officials say». The Winston Salem Journal. 2012 01 08. Retrieved 2012 03 27.
  36. «Reynolds to shut down Whitaker Park plant for good by mid 2011». Retrieved 2012 03 27.