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FDA moves to regulate e-cigarettes

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MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 20:  Julia Boyle enjoys an electronic cigarette at the Vapor Shark store on February 20, 2014 in Miami, Florida. As the popularity of E- cigarettes continue to grow, leading U.S. tobacco companies such as Altria Group Inc. the maker of Marlboro cigarettes are annoucing plans to launch their own e-cigarettes as they start to pose a small but growing competitive threat to traditional smokes.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 20: Julia Boyle enjoys an electronic cigarette at the Vapor Shark store on February 20, 2014 in Miami, Florida. As the popularity of E- cigarettes continue to grow, leading U.S. tobacco companies such as Altria Group Inc. the maker of Marlboro cigarettes are annoucing plans to launch their own e-cigarettes as they start to pose a small but growing competitive threat to traditional smokes. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Food and Drug Administration FDA wants to impose regulation on electronic cigarettes, including an eventual ban on sales to anyone under age 18. Megan McArdle covers the industry for Bloomberg View and she joins the show with more.

The Food and Drug Administration proposed a new rule today regarding the regulation of e-cigarettes. Under the new rule, the FDA would mandate the following.

  • Register with the FDA and report product and ingredient listings;
  • Only market new tobacco products after FDA review;
  • Only make direct and implied claims of reduced risk if the FDA confirms that scientific evidence supports the claim and that marketing the product will benefit public health as a whole; and
  • Not distribute free samples.


In addition, under the proposed rule, the following provisions would apply to newly “deemed” tobacco products:

  • Minimum age and identification restrictions to prevent sales to underage youth;
  • Requirements to include health warnings; and
  • Prohibition of vending machine sales, unless in a facility that never admits youth.

Whether this will actually go into effect or not is up in the air. The rule is now open for public comment for 75 days, so things could possibly change.

Megan McArdle covers the industry for Bloomberg View and she joins the show with more.  

RELATED: LA's e-cigarette ban: What you need to know

This is not the first time the FDA has taken up the issue of e-cigarettes and it certainly won't be the last, but what authority does the Food and Drug Administration have when it comes to regulating these products? For more on that, we turn to Jessica Levinson professor of law at Loyola University. 

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