FDA seeks to regulate e-cigarettes - WFSB 3 Connecticut

FDA seeks to regulate e-cigarettes

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WASHINGTON (WFSB) -

The Food and Drug Administration has been looking to regulate the billion dollar electronic cigarette industry.

The FDA said it wants greater control over who can buy the product and what is in them.

"Unless we have the authority to regulate e-cigarettes, we cannot provide the information the American public wants about the relative risk and safety of these products," said FDA commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg.

E-cigarettes use a battery to convert liquid nicotine into an inhalable vapor. However, they have not been subject to FDA regulations.

Still, more people continue to buy them.

"One thing we do know is that there are more and more e-cigarettes out there and that many of them are increasingly targeted towards young people as well with flavors like strawberry and thin mint," Hamburg said.

The new proposal would not allow the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18. It would also remove them from vending machines in public places where minors are allowed.

They would also require manufacturers to register their products and report their ingredients.

On its website, The Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association said it supports responsible regulation of the industry.

In an interview prior to the FDA's announcement, the founder of one e-cigarette maker said the devices are much healthier than typical cigarettes.

"I think this is a great product for people who are addicted to smoking, who just can't live without it and who are already trying to quit," said Puneet Nanda, founder of Rejuve.

The FDA said it was also looking into how e-cigarettes can affect a person's health. The agency did not give a timeline for when its new rules would take effect.

Pipe tobacco and cigars would also fall under the new regulations.

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