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Proposed Regulations & Labeling of Electronic Cigarettes
One of the biggest concerns that many people have regarding electronic cigarettes is that there are no real regulations in place to warn people of potential health risks, or laws that will keep them out of the hands of children. In recent years there have been confirmed cases of children being poisoned from e-cigs that were left within the childs reach.
The other fear is that more young people will pick up tobacco use because of e-cigs and the presumption that they are not harmful to their health. Since there are no federal regulations yet, so many states are starting to implement their own laws regarding the sales of electronic cigarettes
The e-cigarette market is estimated to be around $3 billion dollars annually in the United States, and it is a business that keeps growing. Tobacco companies have also jumped on board by creating their own brands of electronic cigarettes.
Regulations & Warning Labels
Currently, 41 States have prohibited sales of e-cigs to individuals under 18, but there are a few States where there is no set age limit. In New York, Governor Cuomo just announced that NY wants to pass new laws regarding the use of electronic cigarettes in restaurants, bars, offices, and other places where regular cigarettes are already prohibited.
New York State also wants to ban the sale of flavored nicotine solutions to be used in e-cigs since they appeal to kids. In addition to these new proposed regulations, NY wants to ban advertisements for the product that are targeted towards children.
The FDA has been trying to pass laws regarding e-cigs for a few years now, ever since they were placed in charge of tobacco regulations with The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which was signed into law in 2009.
Supporters of e-cigarettes do not think that regulations should be as strict as regular tobacco because e-cigs are a much healthier alternative. In a statement from The American Vaping Association, they said “Their proposal is premature, hastily designed warnings could lead tobacco users to believe that e-cigarettes have similar risk profiles as combustible cigarettes.”
Ongoing research has been exploring the health effects of electronic cigarettes since they are marketed as a healthier alternative than smoking real cigarettes. Until research comes to a conclusion, no one will know for sure what kinds of long term effects these devices may have. Some manufacturers of electronic tobacco devices already place warning labels on the product, but since the industry is unregulated, it is not mandatory.
This issue has been addressed in court in the past with 3 major lawsuits filed against the FDA by e-cigarette companies. E-cigarette companies won all 3 cases when the cases appeared before a US district court judge in Washington.
How do you feel about the regulation and labeling of e-cigarettes? Should they be labeled with warnings just like traditional cigarettes?