E-Cigarettes Regulated As a Tobacco Product
FDA Regulates E-Cigarettes as Tobacco Product
The Food and Drug Administration has decided to regulate electronic cigarettes as a tobacco product, rather than under the stricter rules set for drug-delivery devices. It was said that the propose is to treat electronic cigarettes the same as traditional cigarettes and other tobacco products.
In 2009, the FDA lost a court case when trying to treat e-cigarettes as drug-delivery devices. They had told customs officials to refuse entry of shipments into the United States. The ruling to regulate electronic cigarettes as tobacco products means they don't have to go through such rigorous requirements such as clinical trials which are very expensive.
Tests done by the FDA found there there were minor levels of toxins besides nicotine in electronic cigarettes as well as a few carcinogens that occur naturally in tobacco. However, the carcinogens were comparable to the ones found in other nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) because the nicotine in all of the products are extracted from the tobacco plant.
A Victory for The “Vaping” Community
Regulating e-cigarettes as tobacco products is a victory for the industry who makes the devices and the distributors. The devices continue to gain popularity worldwide. As a way to quit smoking, both the users and the distributors say electronic cigarettes address nicotine addiction and the behavioral aspects of smoking. The fact that you emulate real smoking is comforting to the user. Smokeless cigarettes also leave behind the over 4,000 chemicals that are found in traditional nicotine cigarettes.
Electronic cigarettes could still be regulated by the FDA as drug-delivery devices is marketed as “therapeutic,” such as a stop smoking aid. This will mean the product will have much stricter regulations and will have to go through rigorous tests.
A CEO of one of the leading electronic cigarettes is “very happy” with the FDA's decision on the ruling. Another praised the decision and stated that the FDA's rules covering electronic cigarettes will help in "weeding out the shady companies." “[Right now,] you can potentially sell snake oil," He said.