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Friday, April 24, 2015

The American College of Physicians for E-Cigarette Regulations

The fight to regulate e-cigarettes continues; this week the American College of Physicians (ACP) called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban flavorings and television ads for e-cigarettes, HealthDay reports. Concerns about the appeal of e-cigarettes to young people and the limited research on the devices has lead a number of health organizations to urge the FDA to act, including the American Medical Association and the American Heart Association.

“There are over 7,000 different flavorings in e-cigarettes, and the evidence shows that young people are attracted to these products because of the flavors. There are also concerns that there are harmful chemicals in the flavorings themselves,” said ACP spokesman Ryan Crowley.

The e-cigarette business quickly became a multi-billion dollar industry. While it may have seemed, to the FDA, that e-cigarettes were a fad that would disappear in time, research indicates that more teenagers are using e-cigarettes than traditional cigarettes. This means that the FDA needs to act quickly to issue sanctions on the use of e-cigarettes, whether or not the devices are benign compared to traditional forms of tobacco. At the end of the day, nicotine is still addictive.

"The urgent need for action was underscored by the new CDC-FDA survey released last week that showed youth e-cigarette use tripled from 2013 to 2014, and surpassed use of traditional cigarettes," he said. "We can't allow the tobacco industry to addict our kids with a new generation of tobacco products."

While it seems that motions are underway to set age limits and advertising restrictions on e-cigarettes, it is still quite easy for teenagers to acquire the devices. A number of e-cigarette shops, often known as “vape” stores, will not sell to people under the age of 18. However, a number of online distributors will sell e-cigarettes regardless of a person’s age.

"We strongly agree with the American College of Physicians that the FDA should act now to regulate e-cigarettes," said Vince Willmore, vice president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

The ACP recommendation was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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