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Issue E-Cigarette Regulations Quickly, Attorneys General Urge FDA

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The attorneys general of 41 states asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue regulations for e-cigarettes by the end of October. They said they want to ensure e-cigarette companies do not continue to sell or advertise to minors.

In a letter to the FDA, the attorneys general said sales of e-cigarettes have doubled every year since 2008. They are projected to reach $1.7 billion this year. The cost has decreased, making them more appealing to young people. Unlike traditional tobacco products, there are no federal age restrictions that prevent children from buying e-cigarettes, and there are no advertising restrictions, the letter states.

“Consumers are led to believe that e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to cigarettes, despite the fact that they are addictive, and there is no regulatory oversight ensuring the safety of the ingredients in e-cigarettes,” they wrote.

The FDA has authority to regulate cigarettes, cigarette tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco, but not e-cigarettes, pipe tobacco or cigars. Under a 2009 law, the FDA can expand its authority over all tobacco products, but it must first issue new regulations, Reuters reports.

Last week, public health organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics sent a letter to President Obama, asking him to pressure the FDA into issuing e-cigarette regulations.

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found use of e-cigarettes among middle and high schools students doubled from 2011 to 2012. The CDC found 10 percent of high school students had tried an e-cigarette last year, compared with 5 percent the previous year.

4 Responses to this article

  1. Fr. Jack Kearney / September 30, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    oops….to clarify: 25 states have banned sales to minors. Rhode Island would have made it 26 if it were not for the American Cancer Society.

  2. Jim Dickey / September 25, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    e-cigarettes and personal vaporizors contain almost no tars or carbon monoxide compared to cigarettes, which are smoked by children at a much higher rate than e-cigs. “Drexel University Professor Igor Burstyn . . .recently published the largest, most comprehensive assessment of research on E-cigarette safety released thus far. (Peering through the mist: What does the chemistry of contaminants in electronic cigarettes tell us about health risks?) That meant looking at dozens of studies done all over the world involving more than 9,000 subjects. His conclusion: “Current data do not indicate that exposures to vapors from contaminants in electronic cigarettes warrant a concern.” A conclusion supported by other health researchers in Palgrave Macmillan, a journal of public health policy.” http://publichealth.drexel.edu/SiteData/docs/ms08/f90349264250e603/ms08.pdf . Clearly, enlightened regulation is desirable. Nicotine is addictive and no one wants to see children get addicted to it. On the other hand, reduced harm is not a bad thing. The key is smart regulation, not knee-jerk regulation to satisfy hysterical elements.

  3. Fr. Jack Kearney / September 25, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Ecig sales are illegal is 25 states; should be all 50. It would be 26 right now, except the American Cancer Society made sure it didn’t happen in Rhode Island. How crazy is that?

  4. Avatar of Brad Parker
    Brad Parker / September 26, 2013 at 8:54 am

    E-cigarettes are not banned in ANY states, except they have ordinances stating where they can and cannot be used. You want to talk about crazy? How about taking a safer alternative away from people who can’t quit or don’t want to quit… how crazy is that?

    As for the safety, take a look at this analysis of the varying studies out there: http://publichealth.drexel.edu/SiteData/docs/ms08/f90349264250e603/ms08.pdf

    E-cigarettes are not a threat to anyone, or anything except states who rely on their sin taxes against tobacco users. It’s about tax money, plain and simple.

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