AMA wants tougher rules on e-cigarettes

AMA wants tougher rules on e-cigarettes

With an increase in television ads exposing young adults to electronic cigarettes over the last two years, the American Medical Association (AMA) is calling for strict regulation of the marketing and sales of e-cigarettes to minors.

The AMA proposed the new rules this week, claiming the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should regulate e-cigarettes with the same rules as other tobacco and nicotine products.

“The AMA supports an FDA proposal to fill the gap in federal regulations on purchasing, labeling, packaging and advertising of electronic cigarettes,” incoming AMA President Dr. Robert Wah said in a news release.

In a September 2013 study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that e-cigarette usage by U.S. middle school and high school students has more than doubled from 3.3 percent in 2011 to 6.8 percent in 2012.

To discourage the e-cigarette trend from really taking root, the AMA has the following recommendations:

  • Implement a minimum age for e-cigarette purchases
  • Create child and tamper proof packaging
  • Restrict flavors that appeal to minors
  • Use more detailed product labels
  • Provide complete disclosure regarding product design, content and emissions
  • Ban unsupported claims that e-cigarettes aid in smoking cessation

According to the CDC, electronic cigarettes that do not serve a therapeutic purpose currently go unregulated by the FDA.

Additionally, most states do not regulate the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. In the states that do, young people can easily order them online in tempting flavors such as mint, chocolate or any fruit flavor.

While the FDA has not evaluated the safety or effectiveness of these smokeless, battery operated cartridges, experts are concerned that the use of electronic cigarettes among young people will lead to nicotine addiction and serve as a gateway to other, more risky tobacco products.

“The American Journal of Public Health examines the effect that marketing campaigns launched by tobacco companies have had on the propensity of young people to smoke,” says Dr. Tony Hampton, primary care physician with Advocate Medical Group in Chicago. “Marketing that encourages use of tobacco like products must therefore be counterbalanced with strong regulations as well as medical professionals utilizing their influence to help adolescents avoid the use of these products.”

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One Comment

  1. Bullet points 1, 2, and 5 are worthy of real consideration and implementation. The others are disgusting over-reaches of a governing body aimed at controlling behavior of individuals through laws. The last bullet point is actually the scariest. It is a fact that if people stopped smoking cigarettes and all switched over to e-cigs right now, the medical community would see a massive decline in deaths related to smoking. This is due to the fact that most of the health problems related to smoking come from the “smoke” part of smoking. While nicotine itself is not good for you in high doses acutely, or low doses over a large period of time, alcohol is a far more dangerous substance, yet we are content with that being flavored with grape, strawberry, orange, berry, or any other flavor in a skittles pouch or cereal box. There is only one factor that has led to my grandmother not picking up a cigarette in over a year, and that would be her e-cigs. If the AMA were serious about trying to understand the pros and cons of e-cigs there would be plenty to read by now that has there “approval”.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.