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FDA to crack down on electronic cigarettes

Posting in Healthcare
 
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Electronic cigarettes and vaping are alternatives to smoking traditional cigarettes, and now the FDA wants to control this rapidly-growing, albeit unregulated, market.

E-cigs and vaping, despite being around for decades, has exploded in popularity recently due to the rising price of tobacco and heavy taxes imposed on the products. However, the rise in users has grown so quickly that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was caught off-guard, and is only now planning to introduce legislation to control the use of such products.


The proposal, due to be issued today, includes the ban of electronic cigarette sales to minors, and a ruling which requires approval from the FDA for new products to be commercially released. In addition, health warning labels may have to be included on products. 

While new rules will not immediately impact on the industry, whether for products already sold in stores and online -- as well as current advertising practises -- the U.S. government aims to eventually control the industry. Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said any further rules "will have to be grounded in our growing body of knowledge and understanding about the use of e-cigarettes and their potential health risks or public health benefits."

The FDA says that the general public will have 75 days to comment on the new proposals, and these will be evaluated before a final ruling is issued -- although there is currently no timetable in place. 

Sales of e-cigarettes, including products which mimic the look of traditional cigarettes and vaping systems, are estimated to have reached almost $2 billion last year. 

Read on: Huffington Post

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— By on April 24, 2014, 2:41 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure