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

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.

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

  1. Fox Lee | July 5, 2013 at 3:33 am

    The more restriction the better!

    • 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

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