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November 2016

E-Cigarettes, Youth, and the US Food and Drug Administration’s “Deeming” Regulation

Author Affiliations
  • 1College of Public Health and Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University, Columbus
  • 2Department of Health Administration and Policy, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia
JAMA Pediatr. 2016;170(11):1039-1040. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.2255

On May 10, 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized its long-awaited “deeming” rule, extending its regulatory authority to pipe tobacco, hookah tobacco, cigars, and—most controversially—e-cigarettes.1 The FDA’s assertion of jurisdiction over e-cigarettes was necessary and long overdue. As the Surgeon General has summarized, “exposing the developing brain to nicotine has been shown to alter its structure and function in a way that introduces long-lasting vulnerability for addiction to nicotine and other substances of abuse.” The recent rise in youth e-cigarette use (“vaping”) is therefore a worrying sign for public health. Now, the FDA must work to implement its new authority in a way that best protects children from lifelong addiction to nicotine.

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