FDA moves to regulate e-cigarettes and ban all sales to minors

No Smoking SignThe federal government on Thursday moved to regulate the e-cigarette industry – including banning electronic cigarette sales to minors – and required all tobacco products to undergo government review, even many already on the market.

E-cigarettes, along with similarly categorized devices such as vaporizers and vape pens, will be regulated as tobacco products because they use a liquid containing nicotine.

The new rule from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implements the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act passed by Congress in 2009. Why has it taken so long to get this rule passed, if Congress acted six years ago? Well, according to Kaiser Health News: “In December 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled the FDA could not regulate electronic cigarettes as a drug or a device but only as a tobacco product. That meant the government could oversee their marketing but not restrict their sale, except to minors. It’s unclear why the FDA needed more than five additional years to issue a final rule.”

Click here to read the full FAQ from Kaiser Health News.


Use of electronic cigarettes among middle school and high school students increases dramatically

CDC imageThe number of students in middle school and high school who use electronic cigarettes tripled from 2013 to 2014, surpassing the total amount of teen use of all tobacco products, including conventional cigarettes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and federal officials are blaming unrestricted advertising.

According to the CDC’s 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey, e-cigarette use by high school students increased from 4.5 percent in 2013 to 13.4 percent in 2014, and from 1.1 percent in 2013 to 3.9 percent in 2014 for middle school students. That amounts to about 2 million high school students and 450,000 middle school students smoking e-cigarettes.

Seven out of 10 middle-school and high-school students (69 percent) say they’ve seen e-cigarette ads in stores, online or in other media, with most of the ads using the same themes that have been used to sell traditional cigarettes for years: sex, independence and rebellion, according to a recent CDC report.

“The same advertising tactics the tobacco industry used years ago to get kids addicted to nicotine are now being used to entice a new generation of young people to use e-cigarettes,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said in an online statement.

To read the Kentucky Health News report of this study, please click here. To see the “Vital Signs” report that attributes the increase in e-cigarette use in youth with the increase in e-cigarette advertising, please click here.