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US moves to tighten rules on e-cigarettes

© AFP/ GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA

Video by Charlotte HAWKINS

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-04-25

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday said it wants to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, proposing new legislation that will essentially group “vaping” under many of the same rules that apply to traditional cigarettes.

Although health advocates welcome the move – which also targets other previously unregulated tobacco products in a bid to keep young people away from developing nicotine addiction – they say the proposed regulation does not go far enough.

“The biggest gaps are (that) they're not going to ban candy flavourings in e-cigarettes and they're not going to do anything to regulate the marketing of e-cigarettes on television, radio and (in) print ads,” Chris Bostic, deputy director for Policy at the US-based non-profit organisation Action on Smoking and Health, said.

Most electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are battery-operated and look like cigarettes, cigars or pipes that are filled with a flavoured liquid. The battery works to heat up the liquid which is then inhaled by the user in vaporised form.

Aside from banning the outright sale of e-cigarettes to minors, the FDA also wants related products to carry health warnings.

E-cigarette makers will also need to provide details about the ingredients used in their products and will be barred from using advertising claims suggesting that “vaping” poses a lower health risk than smoking cigarettes – unless the FDA can confirm scientific evidence to back such claims up.

Little is known about the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use.

If the new rules go through, it would be the first time that the two billion dollar industry becomes the subject of federal regulation.
 

Date created : 2014-04-25

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