Catlin Gabel School, Catlin Speak
The Food and Drug Administration passed regulations for electronic cigarettes for the first time on Thursday, April 24.
The FDA recently passed numerous regulations on the previously unrestricted e-cigarette industry. (Photo: New York Times)
Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes have had no regulations or federal control until now that protect consumers, but now the new regulations prohibit consumers under 18 from purchasing electronic cigarettes or any other tobacco product, including vials of liquid nicotine, pipe tobacco, and cigars. Customers are also now required to show valid photo identification of their age to purchase any of these items.
It will take at least another year for the new rules to take effect, or possibly longer if the effected tobacco and e-cigarette companies decide to pursue lawsuits to block the regulations.
The sales and popularity of pipe tobacco, cigars, and e-cigarettes have grown enormously in the past few years, and e-cigarettes now constitute a multibillion-dollar industry. Vials of liquid nicotine, as well, comprise of different qualities and origins that were not sufficiently regulated in the past.
E-cigarettes are considered a tobacco product because nicotine is derived from tobacco, and there is a special public health concern for tobacco use by minors—particularly with e-cigarettes that use fruity or candy flavoring. The new FDA regulations do not include a ban on the use of these flavors like they do for regular cigarettes.