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FDA Plans to Regulate E-Cigarettes as Tobacco Products, Not Drug-Delivery Devices

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it will regulate smokeless electronic cigarettes as tobacco products, treating them the same as traditional cigarettes.

The FDA said it will not try to regulate e-cigarettes under stricter rules for drug-delivery devices, the Associated Press (AP) reports. E-cigarettes are designed to deliver nicotine in the form of a vapor, which is inhaled by the user. They usually have a rechargeable, battery-operated heating element, a replaceable cartridge with nicotine or other chemicals and a device called an atomizer that converts the contents of the cartridge into a vapor when heated.  E-cigarettes often are made to look like regular cigarettes.

The AP says that the FDA’s announcement, made in a letter to stakeholders, is considered a victory for makers and distributors of e-cigarettes. The devices’ makers say e-cigarettes allow people to smoke without being exposed to the more than 4,000 chemicals in regular cigarettes. E-cigarettes have been available in the United States since 2006 and are used by several million people worldwide, the article says.

Last year the FDA lost a court case after it tried to treat e-cigarettes as drug-delivery devices, which must satisfy stricter requirements than tobacco products, including clinical trials to prove they are safe and effective. FDA tests found that the liquid in some e-cigarettes contained toxins besides nicotine, as well as cancer-causing substances found in tobacco, the AP reported. Some public health experts say the level of the cancer-causing agents is similar to those found in nicotine replacement therapy, which contains nicotine extracted from tobacco.

10 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of Elaine
    Elaine / April 28, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    If they are so worried about regulating e – cigs for public health reasons and say there are bad chemicals then how did they ever approve cigarettes in the first place. Starting to look like unless they can make money off of it; government and medical, that they want to put rules or ban things. They say that they can’t prove it helps people quit. Have they even asked us that. I smoked for 30 years. If it wasn’t for e – cogs I would still be smoking. I have gone from 24 me down to 16 since January and will continue to go down. I am healthier and breath better. I don’t see how they can even think it doesn’t help people quit. I think before they put additional rules on they need to actually do full studies to see that it is helping people. I do agree with the age regulations. I also agree that as soon as they make it that big brother and big companies are they only ones that can make e-liquids that there is nothing keeping them for putting product in that will keep us hooked. I personally have been making mine at home. I know what is in it and can actually make it to taste. I just hope that bug companies don’t get thier fingers in it and cause problems or hike the prices.

  2. Avatar of Jesse
    Jesse / April 27, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    all areas in this seem to be covered, on a smaller issue. They want to take away flavors like grape, water melon and apple. ( fruity flavors) to make it less appealing to children. Are adults not allowed to like fruity flavors? If that’s there logic behind there decision than why i sent alcohol regulated like that? how many different types of alcohol have a fruity flavor to them ? Im not going against alcohol, im just trying to make a point.

  3. Avatar of outtaluck
    outtaluck / April 26, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Rachael, they are banning the use of e-cigs everywhere traditional smoking is banned, especially here in the Metroplex (DFW area). So, yes, they are indeed taking away more freedoms. Secondly, we are regulated enough. I don’t need someone to control what I’m inhaling as a cigarette alternative when I can’t smoke. Okay, general knowledge is smoking is bad for you. So is eating, (drive past a seafood market and take a big wiff before you complain about 2nd, 3rd,4rth, or whatever -hand smoke first.) Another thing, that little vehicle you drive, is bad for my health, it burns a chemical called Benzene, a known carcinogen…but yet you still put it in your tank at 1.6% everytime you fill up…because it’s “good for the enviroment.” It’s high time for government to get the heck out of our lives and let us live with freedom. So no, I will not calm down, because they ARE trying to take away our “vape”, our freedoms, our liberties granted to us by the Constitution of the United States of America.

  4. Avatar of matthew
    matthew / April 25, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    2 things one the fda back dated the paper work so that all products on the market today will have to justify it existence and 2 when was the last time the FDA has approved any tobacco products. They are trying to kill off e-vaping that is the goal. Most of thr e-juices put there have the choice to have nicotine in it or not. And ad for the flavours there a big part of why I quit smoking. And I plan to be nicotine free in 4-5 months. I have smoked for 20 years and this is the first thing that has really worked. So why kill the best stop smoking device ever.

  5. rachael / April 24, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    WHOA, people are freaking out. Also, just as an FYI big tobacco is taking over the e-cigarette market… I really REALLY don’t think the FDA is trying to cater to tobacco manufacturers, in fact, it seems to be quite the opposite – and all the FDA regulation does is ensure the products that people are inhaling meet regulations. Additionally, the FDA regulates all the nicotine-replacement therapies as well. Calm down guys – no own is trying to take away your “vape”

  6. Avatar of mark
    mark / April 24, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    i am just beside myself at this point. FDA cares about public health???!!! really?? where were they when thousands other product from weigh loss to the damn cigarette and other quick bucks chemical killed millions? didn’t we have issues with meat and poultry product that they didn’t give a two cents in the past? now all of the sudden the big brother cares for public safety. not sure how much FDA received from big tobacco company to finally step in on a product that is made of nothing but flavor and sugar. what about the e liquid has no nicotine? whats next ” second hand vaping”? you must be kidding me. i am a hear attack survivor and if it wasn’t for e cig i was dead by now. not to mention a cardiologist recommend e cig to quit. FDA you are a joke . what else the big brother feels is in tile to decide for me and my life. what about regulating my underwear since some bright color might cause vision issue for some people. and lets not forget the children. FDA and our politician truly care for their health and only 2 out of 5 children in USA suffers from hunger. get a life FDA and all other government agencies. we solved all other problem in this country and all left is vaping. WOW. last time i checked this is still United State of america. what a sad day.

  7. cigarbabe / January 19, 2014 at 1:52 am

    What the AP is quoting is a “press release” and was not the study the FDA did. That was done in 2009 and it did not find any toxins in detectable levels. Trying to equate ecigs as smoking is simply wrong. It is vaporizing at worst. There is no “second hand vapor” no heavy metals or dangerous chemicals released. The CDC failed to tell you that all the kids they queried were using ecigs because they were already everyday smokers. Why do you folks continue to lie to the public?

  8. Avatar of dennis phelps
    dennis phelps / January 18, 2014 at 12:37 am

    You know this bothers me. Why treat it as a tobacco product. It is nothing like tobacco. vaping is the future and the FDA doesnt want to lose the big tobaco tht pays the bills. we govern ourselves. Remember tht. the only reason they want to regulate is so they can make a quick buck by taxing it as much as tobacco.
    Let it be. If u treat e cigs like real ones ill be first to tea party.

  9. Avatar of Fox Lee
    Fox Lee / July 5, 2013 at 3:33 am

    The more restriction the better!

  10. Avatar of Chasen
    Chasen / February 5, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    “More restrictions the better”???? Are you kidding me. Either you work and/or own stock in big tobacco or are just a mindless sheep that only believes the horrible plague of disinformation that’s swept through our country, regarding e-cigs. What I just said isn’t some conjecture either. The largest study ever conducted on e-cigs, which gathered information from thousands of other studies and was designed specifically to help organizations like the FDA understand the truths about e-cigs, concluded that there are no more health risks to e-cigs than there are to nicotine patches and likewise to anyone around them. There has been a malicious spread of rumors regarding the supposedly harmful effects of e-cigs but those were all a result of the tobacco companies trying to deter people from e-cigs and continue to allow them to retain their incredibly immense profits. There are numerous documented accounts and stories revealing this and explaining precisely how big tobacco funded, and I’m sure still funds, bogus studies and evidence falsely claiming e-cigs to be worse for you or equally bad as traditional cigs. Even the pharmaceutical industry has been trying to purposefully deter people from e-cigs since more people using e-cigs to quit smoking equates to less people using nicotine patches and prescription meds to quit. I bet you’re one of those annoying people that purposefully coughs when they’re next to someone vaping with an Ecig, despite the fact that not only is it completely harmless but it also smells like extremely pleasant almost like an air freshener.

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