FDA Will Regulate Vaping

The days of the wild west of vaping are almost over. Soon e-cigarettes will become illegal for minors, and the ingredients will have to pass FDA approval. The new rules take effect in August and also apply to hookahs and cigars.

The liquid used in e-cigarettes does not contain the cancer-causing ingredients in traditional cigarettes, which is why vaping is often viewed as a safer alternative to smoking. However, most brands and flavors contain nicotine. Nicotine is harmful to the fetus, children and adolescents , so vaping is not entirely safe. Meanwhile, some of the flavoring ingredients in the vaping fluid may not be safe to inhale , but there isn’t enough information yet to say for sure.

The new rules are a logical extension of the FDA’s mandate for cigarettes and chewing tobacco. Until recently, other nicotine-containing products were not included in the definition of tobacco products. Vape shop owners are understandably alarmed by the new rule as vape pens and e-liquids now have to be agency approved. Applications can be prohibitively expensive for many manufacturers; Vox quotes estimates ranging from “several hundred thousand dollars” to $ 1 million per application.

Here’s how the FDA summarizes the rule change:

The final rule will subject all manufacturers, importers and / or retailers of tobacco products subject to the new rules to any applicable tobacco-related provisions in the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and FDA regulations, including:

  • Registration of manufacturing facilities and submission of product lists to the FDA;
  • Ingredient reporting, as well as harmful and potentially harmful constituents;
  • Requirement for pre-screening and FDA approval for new tobacco products;
  • Placing health warnings on product packaging and in advertisements; and
  • Do not sell tobacco products with modified risk (including tobacco products described as “light,” “weak,” or “soft”) unless authorized by the FDA.

In addition, there are several provisions aimed at limiting youth access to tobacco products, including:

  • Prohibiting the sale of goods to persons under the age of 18 (both in person and via the Internet);
  • Age verification requirement with photo ID;
  • Prohibition of the sale of tobacco products in vending machines (except in premises for adults only); and
  • Distribution of free samples is prohibited.

Today’s historical rule serves as the basis for future FDA regulations.

Meanwhile, a British group recently announced that they believe e-cigarettes are a safe way to help people quit smoking. The FDA’s “tobacco king”, telling Vox, says the difference in attitudes is partly due to the fact that, unlike in the UK, vaping has caught on among teens.

Extending Authorization to All Tobacco Products, Including E-Cigarettes, Cigars and Hookah | FDA


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