Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) is calling for a ban on 'e-cigarettes' — electronic nicotine delivery-devices that resemble normal cigarettes but don't burn tobacco — until the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) certifies that they are safe.
The Hill reported March 23 that the battery-powered cigarettes are growing in popularity; some members of Congress have even been spotted using them on Capitol Hill, where smoking is banned.
“Manufacturers and retailers of these products claim that e-cigarettes are safe, and even that these products can help smokers quit traditional cigarettes,” Lautenberg said in a letter to the FDA. “However, there have been no clinical studies to prove these products are effective at helping smokers quit, nor have any studies verified the safety of these products or their long-term health effects.”
However, Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) who has used e-cigarettes in the House Speaker's Lobby, said the FDA should give the product the benefit of the doubt. “Before the FDA takes any immediate action, it should put forward scientific evidence that these products are harmful or unsafe,” he said.