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

1 day ago in Entertainment

OPENING WEEKEND: ‘Mother’s Day,’ Key & Peele comedy ‘Keanu’ hit theaters

22-overlay-9

Here's a look at some of the films set to open this weekend.

1 day ago in Entertainment

WHAT’S ON: New on Netflix, Amazon & Hulu this May

netflixAP

It's going to be a great weekend for some binge-watching.

1 day ago in Entertainment

Alicia Vikander to play Lara Croft in ‘Tomb Raider’ reboot

vikanderREUTERS

The Swedish Oscar winner follows in the footsteps of Angelina Jolie to play the famed adventurer.

1 day ago in Entertainment

‘Angry Birds,’ apps to go hand-in-hand at the movies

21-overlay-15

Creators of the upcoming "The Angry Birds Movie" movie will ask audiences to whip out their phones during the end credits and point them at the screen.

1 day ago in Music

Lenny Kravitz, Queen Latifah to star in new Fox drama

queenlatifah771031325145

The show "Star" will feature newcomer actors Jude Demorest, Ryan Destiny and Brittany O'Grady as the singers.