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Monday, June 16, 2014

FDA Gearing Up to Regulate E-Cigarettes

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is gearing up to begin regulating E-cigarettes. Mitchell Zeller, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, is reviewing product standards in the areas of addiction, toxicity and product appeal, according to Reuters.

In April the FDA announced new rules for E-cigarettes, giving the agency the power to regulate the popular nicotine delivery systems. "It's not the nicotine that kills half of all long-term smokers, it's the delivery mechanism," said Zeller at a lunch in Washington, D.C. organized by the American Legacy Foundation, an anti-tobacco group.

The FDA’s major concerns revolve around the appeal of E-cigarettes to children. There are thousands of different flavors of nicotine juices and many of them have flavor names that are attractive to teenagers.

"We share the concerns about the marketing of e-cigarettes to kids," said Zeller. "We share the concerns that flavors certainly look like they would be appealing to kids; but let's not lose sight of the bigger picture here--tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease principally because of the ongoing use of products that burn tobacco.”

There is a limited amount of research on E-cigarettes and it remains unclear as to whether or not people are using E-cigarettes to quit smoking or as an alternative to smoking. Nevertheless, many experts agree that E-cigarettes are the lesser of two evils.

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