The U.S. government has declared a ban on the distribution of e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18.
The Food and Drug Administration, in line with regulations for cigarettes, have created specific guidelines for producers of e-cigarettes, pens, pipes, hookah, and cigars to follow. These guidelines require manufacturers to submit their products to the government to evaluate ingredients and mark any potential health dangers.
E-cigarettes are battery powered devices that contain heating elements that are able to vaporize nicotine-based liquids and incorporate a variety of flavor components.
There is much speculation about potential health dangers that can occur through the use of these products.
“As cigarette smoking among those under 18 has fallen, the use of other nicotine products, including e-cigarettes, has taken a drastic leap,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell.
The e-cigarette industry has quickly become a multibillion-dollar industry and is increasingly popular in teens.
“The number of young adults using e-cigarettes now exceeds the number who smoke traditional cigarettes,” according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the American Lung Association, Federal regulation of e-cigarettes is necessary to protect children and the public from potential health hazards. Studies have shown these products contain harmful chemicals and carcinogens.
“Ending the tobacco epidemic is more urgent than ever, and can only happen if the FDA acts aggressively and broadly to protect all Americans from all tobacco products,” President of the ALA Harold Wimmer said.
The FDA recently conducted a survey showing the use of e-cigarettes among high school students has increased by 16% since 2011.
“This action is a milestone in consumer protection – going forward, the FDA will be able to review new tobacco products not yet on the market, help prevent misleading claims by tobacco product manufactures, evaluate the ingredients of tobacco products and how they are made, and communication potential risks of tobacco products,” the FDA following the announcement of their extended regulation of all tobacco products.
They are attempting to decrease the availability of these products by requiring valid photo identification and age verification.
Vending machines containing these products will be available in adult-only locations. These guidelines are set to take effect in 90 days.