FDA urges stronger regulations on e-cigarettes

FDA urges stronger regulations on e-cigarettes

The FDA recently released their proposed regulations for electronic cigarettes. While electronic cigarettes claim to contain no tobacco, the FDA has issued a proposed rule that would extend the agency’s tobacco authority to cover additional products that meet the legal definition of a tobacco product, such as e-cigarettes.

“This proposed rule is the latest step in our efforts to make the next generation tobacco-free,” said a Health and Human Services representative, in a statement.

The proposed rules include banning the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone younger than 18-years-old and a requirement for buyers to provide photo identification for purchases. Vending machine sales of e-cigarettes will be prohibited unless in a venue closed to anyone younger than 18, and e-cigarette manufacturers will be required to include health warnings on labels.

According to the FDA, electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes or e-cigs, are battery-operated products designed to deliver nicotine, flavor and other chemicals. They turn chemicals, including highly addictive nicotine, into an aerosol that is inhaled by the user.

The FDA also argues that e-cigarettes are referred to as a tobacco product as the nicotine is derived from tobacco.

“Nicotine is an addictive agent,” says Dr. Michael Ward, a family medicine and sports medicine physician on staff at Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, Ill. “While we may be using e-cigarettes to wean adults off of the traditional tobacco cigarette, we are also finding youth beginning to use e-cigarettes and beginning the addictive process.”

E-cigarettes entered the market outside the scope of normal regulatory channels. Marketing of these products has not been banned as we have seen with the traditional tobacco product. Moving forward, e-cigarette manufacturers will be required to register with the FDA and provide a list of products and ingredients. The manufacturers can only make direct or implied claims of reduced risk if the FDA confirms that scientific evidence supports the claim and that marketing the product will benefit public health as a whole.

“Because e-cigarettes have not been fully studied, we do not know the risk,” Dr. Ward says.

Dr. Ward advises everyone to quit smoking no matter what the product may be.

The proposed rule will be available for public comment until July 9, 2014. Comments can be made here.

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Comments

7 Comments

  1. It would also be interesting to compare how much “better” the e-cigs are then regular cigarettes, and what risks are associated with them.

    • Natalies, unfortunately, you are missing the point. The topic is not whether electronic cigarettes are “better,” but whether or not they are safer.

  2. “Because e-cigarettes have not been fully studied, we do not know the risk,” Dr. Ward says.

    This quote is proof doctors aren’t as educated as either they or society makes them out to be. Dr. Ward, please begin your study and let’s stopping banning use of e-cigarettes “ . . .because we don’t know . . .” That, sir, is a cop out. Do your homework so society can once and for all have an answer. Hopefully, people will then be allowed to vape in public with unnecessary harassment.

    Second, the author of this newsletter should have done a better job reporting this matter by quizzing Dr. Ward on what entails a “full study” and who should lead the effort. Instead we got more fear mongering from Advocate on a topic nobody really seems interested in tackling outside of proposing more “bans.”

  3. Shannon Homolka July 2, 2014 at 2:15 pm · Reply

    This article is intended to make the audience aware of an FDA proposal. The FDA is currently investigating and diving deeper into concerns over e-cigarettes. I know there are many concerns and what I am hoping to do is allow those individuals a chance to voice those concerns both in this forum and to the FDA as noted at the bottom of the article.

    • Shannon,

      As an Advocate patient since 1998 please believe me that I appreciate your efforts. However, on occasion quotations from Advocate’s physicians are included in articles with the presumed intent to add credibility to the discussion. Like the one above, or from last week’s article on banning smoking OUTSIDE, the quotes are really out of scope and even irrelevant. My criticism is not because I chose to smoke, defend those that do or the rights of private property; I also want to help improve the integrity of these articles and even the writing-style of the authors. By and large Advocate does a good job and there is always room to improve. Yet, both of us know that YOU will not be writing these forever.

      Have a safe and satisfying Independence Day holiday weekend.

  4. great to know! Been trying to get my parents to stop using the e-cigarettes

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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.