E-Cigarettes Will Be Regulated Like Cigarettes Under New Federal Rules

Our best medical advice on what you need to know about vaping

E-Cigarettes Will Be Regulated Like Cigarettes Under New Federal Rules

Electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products will be regulated in the same way as cigarettes and smokeless tobacco under new rules announced Thursday by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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The rules broaden the definition of tobacco products to include e-cigarettes, hookahs, pipe tobacco, premium cigars, little cigars and other products. Also, the government will have a say on what goes into the products.

The rules also:

  • Prohibit selling – including online – tobacco products to people younger than 18.
  • Require tobacco product buyers to show a photo ID.
  • Require health warnings in advertisements and on cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco and covered tobacco product packages.
  • Ban free samples and sale of covered products in vending machines not located in adult-only facilities.

The new rules go into effect in 90 days.

Public health threat

Tobacco use is a significant public health threat, the FDA says. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States and is responsible for 480,000 deaths per year.

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And while there has been a significant decline in the use of traditional cigarettes among youth over the past decade, their use of other tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes, continues to climb.

Curious about e-cigarettes and “vaping?” Here is our collection of medical advice and information.

Teen Use of E-Cigarettes Has Strong Link to Smoking

Teens who use electronic cigarettes, commonly known as e-cigarettes, may be more likely to start smoking tobacco, a new study says. E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that can look like real cigarettes. They produce a vapor from a flavored fluid that normally contains a third to half the nicotine found in a tobacco cigarette. Users simulate smoking by inhaling the vapor — which gives the practice its slang term of ‘vaping.’ But while e-cigarettes deliver nicotine without the tar and smoke of traditional tobacco cigarettes, doctors say they still carry risks. Read more.

Are E-Cigarettes Safe for Pregnant Women?

Quitting smoking of all kinds – conventional cigarettes or even e-cigarettes – is the best medical advice for pregnant women, experts say. It’s best to quit smoking as soon as you decide to conceive. There is no way to know for certain that e-cigarettes do not harm a fetus because no good, randomized studies with pregnant women have been conducted — primarily because researchers can’t find enough women who are willing to subject their fetuses to the potential dangers. Read more.

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E-Cigarettes: Tobacco-Free, But Your Heart May Still Be at Risk

Researchers don’t yet know the cumulative damage e-cigarettes cause to your heart, lungs and blood vessels. Even though you might avoid some of the cancer risks associated with tobacco use when you switch from traditional cigarettes to e-cigarettes, you don’t eliminate your risk for heart disease. That’s because e-cigarettes are a tobacco-free nicotine delivery system, and you still receive a dose of nicotine directly into your lungs and blood stream every time you vape. Read more.

Do You Smoke or Vape? Know the Facts About Electronic Cigarettes

Since e-cigarettes hit the market in 2007, sales have skyrocketed. They’re popular partly because people believe they are safer than cigarettes. But e-cigarettes come with their own health risks. And they aren’t vetted for long-term use. There are fewer chemicals in e-cigarettes — though still as many as 250 or more. They’re not regulated by the FDA, though, so you have no way of knowing what exactly is in them. Read more.

Electronic Cigarettes: Weighing in on a Popular Trend

E-cigarette manufacturers claim that their products are a safer alternative to cigarettes. But repeated inhalation of propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin — ingredients in e-cigarettes — can cause airway irritation. Propylene glycol is a FDA-approved food additive commonly found in toothpaste, deodorants and moisturizers, and it is used in theatrical smoke. The FDA has found that it contains detectable levels of known carcinogens and diethylene glycol, an antifreeze ingredient. Read more.

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