E-Cigarette Makers Are Pleased With FDA Proposals; Consumer Groups are Not

Manufacturers of e-cigarettes say they are pleased with the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed regulations of e-cigarettes, The Wall Street Journal reports. Consumer groups said the rules don’t go far enough, according to USA Today.

The FDA announced new rules on Thursday that would allow the agency to regulate e-cigarettes. The proposed rules would ban the sale of e-cigarettes, cigars and pipe tobacco to anyone under age 18.

Manufacturers of e-cigarettes and cigars would have to register with the FDA, give the agency a detailed account of the products’ ingredients, describe their manufacturing process and scientific data, and submit to FDA inspections. Companies would no longer be allowed to offer free samples. E-cigarettes would be required to come with warning labels stating they contain nicotine, which is addictive. Vending machines in public places where minors are allowed could not carry e-cigarettes. The rules also ban online sales of e-cigarettes and cigars to minors.

The proposed rules do not ban flavors in e-cigarettes and cigars. Public health advocates say these flavors entice children to try the products. The rules also do not ban marketing of e-cigarettes, which public health advocates had called for. The FDA said further regulations will be needed to address flavoring and marketing.

“I’m very pleased the FDA has created a structure to treat these products differently than traditional combustible cigarettes,” said Miguel Martin, President of Logic Technology Development LLC, a leading e-cigarette maker. The new rules are likely to lead to increased investment in the industry, and the creation of even more types of e-cigarettes, The Wall Street Journal notes.

USA Today notes e-cigarette critics want the FDA to make it illegal to market e-cigarettes in ways that are attractive to children and teens. They want a ban on e-cigarette ads on TV and radio, as well as prohibiting product promotion through social media, event sponsorship and activities intended for a young audience.