FDA releases long-awaited final rule regulating e-cigarettes and cigars

FDA releases long-awaited final rule regulating e-cigarettes and cigars

Created on: Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Author: Maine Medical Association

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week released its final rule regulating e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah and other previously unregulated tobacco products. The new rules are sweeping in scope, and for the first time, extend federal regulatory authority to e-cigarettes, banning their sale to minors under the age of 18 and requiring health warnings.

Also required under the rules:

  • Adults under the age of 26 must show a photo identification to buy these tobacco products.
  • Producers must register with the FDA and provide a detailed accounting of the ingredients in their products and their manufacturing processes. Manufacturers are prohibited from making unproven health claims.
  • Manufacturers must apply to the FDA for permission to sell their products.

As recommended by the AMA and other public health stakeholders, the FDA extended the rules to all cigars, rejecting proposals to exempt so-called “premium cigars.” The AMA has long called for e-cigarettes to be subject to the same regulations and oversight that the FDA applies to tobacco and nicotine products, and supports the final rule as an important step in protecting the public’s health, especially that of minors.

However, the AMA believes further regulation is necessary with regard to marketing e-cigarettes and banning flavored e-cigarettes, which are particularly enticing to minors. The rule goes into effect in three months.

Also last week, California became the second state after Hawaii to raise the tobacco purchasing age when Gov. Jerry Brown signed bills that raise the tobacco and e-cigarette purchasing age from 18 to 21 years, among other measures. Read more at AMA Wire®.

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