FDA to propose electronic cigarette regulations
The fast-growing market for electronic cigarettes (e-cigs), which is virtually unregulated, is poised to fall under federal control, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) set to announce proposed regulations today. Based on the New York Times coverage this morning, it appears the FDA will ban sales to minors and subject “e-juice”—the liquids, which often contain nicotine, that are vaporized by battery-powered e-cigs (pictured)—to pre-market regulatory approval, restricting its production to makers registered with agency.
The Times piece quoted David Abrams of the Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health as saying that people “won’t be able to mix nicotine in your bathtub and sell it anymore.” In a January piece in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Abrams worried that regulatory overreach could stifle e-cigs’ revolutionary potential to dramatically reduce the use of combustible tobacco products, and even make “the cigarette obsolete.”
Once a 75-day public-comment period passes, finalizing the new rules—which also cover cigars and pipe tobacco—is expected to take several more months, according to the Times, and, once finalized, more time will be required to administer them.