Monday, May 09, 2016

FDA - Regulates E-Cigarettes

"Skyrocketing teen use of e-cigarettes leads to new regulations" PBS NewsHour 5/5/2016


SUMMARY:  The Food and Drug Administration will begin regulating e-cigarettes and cigars the same way it regulates cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.  About 2.5 million high school students or middle schoolers vaped at least once in the last month; now e-cigarettes can no longer be sold to people under 18.  Hari Sreenivasan talks to Mitch Zeller of the FDA for more on the new policy.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  There'll be no more e-cigarette and cigar sales to people under the age of 18.  Federal oversight of the growing industry was announced today by the Food and Drug Administration.


HARI SREENIVASAN:  They've been around since 2006, but until now, they were largely un-regulated.  E-cigarettes turn nicotine into an inhalable liquid vapor, but without the tobacco in regular cigarettes.

WOMAN:  With blue e-cigs there's no tobacco only vapor.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Ads for the products tout benefits, using celebrity endorsements, like this one from actress Jenny McCarthy.   In fact, there's no scientific consensus on benefits, or potential harm.

But Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell says the industry will now be regulated, citing its rapid growth among teens.

SYLVIA BURWELL, Secretary of Health and Human Services:  Between 2011 and 2015, the percentage of high school students who smoke e-cigarettes has skyrocketed over 900 percent.  Meanwhile, hookah usage has risen significantly among young people and cigar smoking continues to be a problem among high schoolers.  Together, that means millions of kids are being introduced to nicotine every year, a new generation hooked on a highly addictive chemical.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Manufacturers, many of them small companies, will have to undergo a lengthy federal review in order to stay on the market.

In response, Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, said today, quote, “If the FDA's rule is not changed by Congress or the courts, thousands of small businesses will close in two to three years.”

House Republicans (bough and paid for, my comment) have their own answer, a bill to curb retroactive safety reviews for e-cigarettes and cigars.

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