On August 8, a final rule from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) goes into effect that tobacco control experts say could dramatically change the status of e-cigarettes in this country. The rule extends the agency’s regulatory authority to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, and requires manufacturers to report product ingredients and undergo the agency’s premarket review to receive marketing authorization.
The move is intended to “improve public health and protect future generations from the risks of tobacco use,” the FDA said in a statement (http://1.usa.gov/1Y6CiAC). Tobacco-control experts lauded the FDA for restricting e-cigarette use in adolescents: the rule makes it illegal for the products to be sold in person or online to people younger than 18 years. Use of e-cigarettes has skyrocketed among adolescents, and there’s some early evidence that it may lead to cigarette smoking in this demographic (Leventhal AM et al. JAMA. 2015;314:700-707).