FDA Announces New Rules on E-Cigarettes

Shown above are some electronic nicotine delivery systems products.

Shown above are some electronic nicotine delivery systems products.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new regulations of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) that affect the manufacturing and labeling of the product. It also prohibits selling the product to persons under the age of 18 years. The new rules affect not only e-cigarettes but also more traditional tobacco products such as cigars and pipe tobacco.

E-cigarettes (electronic cigarettes) are battery-powered devices that convert liquid nicotine into an inhalable vapor. Nicotine can be addictive but e-cigarettes do not have the cancer-causing chemicals and tars of burning tobacco. According to the FDA, an estimated 3 million middle and high school students were using e-cigarettes in 2015.

Starting in August 2016, retailers will not only be prohibited from selling tobacco products to persons under 18 years of age, but they will also be banned from placing those products in vending machines or distributing free samples. Other regulations will take longer to implement. Included among those regulations is the requirement for first-time e-cigarette makers to submit their products to the FDA for a safety review. Another requirement is for brands already on the market to meet designated standards in order to remain on the market.

Smoking is the largest cause of preventable death, with over 480,000 tobacco-related deaths in the U.S each year. Use of e-cigarettes by high school students has increased more than 900% over the past five years. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell said, “We cannot let the enormous progress we’ve made toward a tobacco-free generation be undermined by products that impact our health and economy this way.”

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