E-Cigaerette FDA Regulation Update 05/05/2016
The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) has reported that they will be regulating all tobacco products on the market, which e-cigarettes, hookah and pipe tobacco, cigars, and other tobacco products according to CNN.
The Dangers Of E-Cigarettes
E-cigarettes have been gaining popularity over the past year and do not appear to be going away anytime soon. Sales of e-cigarettes are expected to hit $1.7 billion this year. With little regulation, the Attorneys General wants the FDA to begin to regulate e-cigarettes the same way they do any other tobacco product. The National Association of Attorneys General feels that e-cigarettes should be regulated because the product contains the same addictive substance that is found in tobacco, nicotine.
This week, Ohio Attorney General, Mike DeWine, and his counterparts in 39 states and territories across the United States, submitted a letter to the Commissioner of the of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Margaret Hamburg, requesting that the agency begin testing and regulating e-cigarettes. The FDA claimed four years ago that they were going to, but have failed to follow through.
The main concern of the Attorneys General is that there are no federal laws implemented to protect under-age youths from obtaining e-cigarettes, nor are there any restrictions on advertising. The ultimate goal would be to have the federal government regulate these e-cigarettes under the Tobacco Control Act.
Many e-cigarettes are made to mimic the look of a real cigarette, while others resemble tiny flashlights. All of these products are battery-operated devices that heat a nicotine-infused liquid into a vapor, which is then inhaled and exhaled like cigarette smoke. There are dozens of fun flavors on the market that range anywhere from your average vanilla to eggnog, coffee, and even red bull flavors. As of right now, most of these products are being marketed as “safer than cigarettes.” The claim that e-cigarettes are “safer” has not yet been substantiated.
Health and Safety Concerns Growing
The American Cancer Society along with dozens of other groups, like The American Heart Association, have also submitted a letter to President Obama requesting that he push the FDA to act now, given, “the enormity of the burden of death and disease caused by tobacco products…The FDA must issue a rule to regulate all tobacco products, including cigars, little cigars, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products.”
Of the many major health concerns relating to e-cigarettes, one of those concerns is for explosions. Stories of e-cigarettes exploding while in use or while charging are becoming more common.
CNN video report released today reveals that three year old Connor Barlow of Mount Pleasant, Utah, sustained first and second degree burns to his body after his mother Kinzie Barlow’s e-cigarette exploded while attached to a car charger. While she was driving, suddenly the e-cigarette exploded. Shooting out a white-hot copper coil that bounced off the interior ceiling of the vehicle. Then landing on Connor’s car seat, setting both it and him on fire. “Seeing your child on fire and them screaming, ‘Help me!’ is definitely pretty terrifying,” said Kinzie.
Lynn Schofield, Provo, Utah Fire Marshal, stated that this was the second e-cigarette explosion he has encountered so far. Still think they are safe?
As new alternatives are created for ingesting nicotine, the addictive drug derived from the tobacco plant. Now new regulations may have to be implemented to not only protect our youth from these products, but also all consumers.
Just because the retailer says it’s safe, doesn’t make it so. Additionally, there has not been enough research done on e-cigarettes to safely predict what will happen to long term users. As always, the safest alternative to not smoking tobacco cigarettes, is abstinence.
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