Electronic Cigarettes: Regulate Them

In: Social Issues

Submitted By edith808
Words 2323
Pages 10
Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, have gained a considerable amount of popularity in the United States since its introduction. These hand-held, battery-powered devices initiate the appearance and function of a conventional cigarette. This is done when the atomizer heats up the solution and provides a nicotine vapor, instead of smoke, to the user (Mayo Clinic, 2013). Many of the manufacturers of electronic cigarettes boast the safety of these products although there are little evidence supporting that claim. Nevertheless, people continue to purchase them, and it is important to start implementing stricter policies on them.

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 gives the FDA authority to regulate the marketing, manufacture and sale of tobacco products (Products, 2013), but the original intent of the FDA is to regulate electronic cigarettes as therapeutic drug delivery devices because of the contents of the liquid. In 2010 the United States District Court of Appeals declares that electronic cigarettes should be considered tobacco products (Grana, 2013). Unfortunately, since this declaration, the FDA has not exercised regulatory authority over electronic cigarettes. A main reason for this is partly due to the government shutdown in October. Prior to this, the FDA has taken steps to provide a proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget, which is currently reviewing it (Staff, 2013).

In the absence of FDA regulation many states, localities, and the Department of Transportation have enacted their own policies to restrict electronic cigarettes, whether it be the

sale to minors or the use of them in public spaces. In a 2010 hearing before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Susan Kurland, Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs, U.S. Department of Transportation, informed the…...

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