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Friday, September 27, 2013

Attorneys General Ask FDA for E Cigarette Regulations

Marlboro Cigarettes
One can hardly go out in public without seeing someone smoking an e-cigarette, devices that vaporize liquid nicotine that typically has an appealing flavor additive. Many have turned to e-cigarettes as an alternative to traditional tobacco use with the hope that it will assist in quitting nicotine altogether. Despite reported success stories there are a number of officials who are not convinced and they feel that teenagers are being lead to believe that these products are harm-free due to a lack of regulations.

The Attorneys General of 41 states have banded to together, asking that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issue regulations for e-cigarettes by the end of October. 

Currently, the FDA has no authority to regulate e-cigarettes, pipe tobacco or cigars. They only have authority over cigarettes, cigarette tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco. The FDA must issue new regulations before it can widen its reach over all tobacco products, Reuters reports.

A letter was presented to the FDA by the Attorneys General that contained statistics regarding e-cigarettes. It stated that sales of e-cigarettes have doubled every year since 2008, sales are projected to reach $1.7 billion this year alone.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a study which found that the use of e-cigarettes among middle and high schools students doubled from 2011 to 2012. Last year, 10 percent of high school students tried an e-cigarette, double from the previous year.

Producers of e-cigarettes have lowered the price of the devices, which is thought to make them more appealing to young people. As of late, there are no federal age restrictions on e-cigarettes and there are no advertising restrictions either, according to the letter.

“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.”  

Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics sent a letter to President Obama, asking him to pressure the FDA.
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