News

FDA urged to regulate e-cigarettes

FDA urged to regulate e-cigarettes

The FDA is being asked to regulate e-cigarettes. Photo: Reuters

(Reuters) – Top U.S. law enforcement officials urged the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday to promptly issue a promised set of rules governing the sale of e-cigarettes, adding to a growing body of legal and public health officials demanding action.

In 2009, the FDA was given authority to regulate cigarettes, cigarette tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco, although not pipe tobacco, cigars or e-cigarettes. The law allows the FDA to expand its authority over all tobacco products, but it must first issue new regulations. The FDA has said they are in development.

In a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, Attorneys General from 41 states asked the agency to “take all available measures” to issue the rules by the end of October.

“We ask the FDA to move quickly to ensure that all tobacco products are tested and regulated to ensure that companies do not continue to sell or advertise to our nation’s youth,” they wrote.

The FDA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The letter comes less than a week after the American Academy of Pediatrics and 14 other public health organizations, including the American Lung Association and American Heart Association, sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to pressure the FDA into issuing the rules.

In July, the FDA said it might place restrictions on menthol cigarettes following a review that showed the products are likely to be more addictive than regular cigarettes. The agency is seeking public comment.

In their letter, the Attorneys General noted that sales of e-cigarettes have doubled every year since 2008 and are projected to reach $1.7 billion in 2013. The cost, meanwhile, has fallen, making them more affordable and attractive to youth, they said.

Moreover, there are no restrictions on advertising e-cigarettes.

“Consumers are led to believe that e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to cigarettes, despite the fact that they are addictive, and there is no regulatory oversight ensuring the safety of the ingredients in e-cigarettes.”

Recent Headlines

in National

Making headlines this week

AP977488553978

A look at some of this week's biggest newsmakers.

in National

Student opens fire in high school north of Seattle

People embrace in front of school busses at a church, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, where students were taken to be reunited with parents following a shooting at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Wash.

A student opened fire at his Washington state high school on Friday, killing one person, and wounding at least four others.

in National

Evenflo recalls infant seats to fix sticky buckles

evenflo

More than 200,000 rear-facing car seats are being recalled.

in Local

Man Jailed For Columbine-Style Threat Against Frontier

Schauer

A 19-year-old Sunderland man is behind bars after threatening to commit a mass shooting at Frontier Regional School

in Local

Baker And Coakley Debate In WMass

politics

Republican Charlie Baker and Democrat Martha Coakley actually agreed on a number of topics during a televised debate in Chicopee