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FDA To Regulate E-Cigarettes Like Tobacco (cnn.com) 342

An anonymous reader writes: Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have been all the rage lately, as many claim they are healthier than traditional tobacco cigarettes. Since they are so relatively new to the market, the government hasn't been able to effectively study them and determine whether or not they should be regulated like traditional cigarettes and smokeless tobacco -- until now. The FDA has released their final rule Thursday, broadening the definition of tobacco products to include e-cigarettes, hookahs, pipe tobacco, premium cigars, little cigars and other products. "Going forward, the FDA will be able to review new tobacco products not yet on the market, help prevent misleading claims by tobacco product manufacturers, evaluate the ingredients of tobacco products and how they are made, and communicate the potential risks of tobacco products," the agency said. The new rule will go into effect immediately. According to CDC data from 2014, e-cigarette use among adults has gone up about 12.6%. People under the age of 18 will no longer be able to buy these products with the new regulations, and the products will be required to be sold in child-resistant packaging. In addition, the government will now be able to have a say in what goes into the products. Previously, there was no law mandating that manufacturers tell you what you are inhaling when trying their products.
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FDA To Regulate E-Cigarettes Like Tobacco

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  • by SonicSpike ( 242293 ) on Thursday May 05, 2016 @05:01PM (#52056099) Journal

    The federal government has ZERO authority to do this. Nowhere in the US Constitution are "substances" allowed to be regulated at the federal level. And because of that, the 9th and 10th Amendment prohibit such regulation.

    • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

      I quite like my paint being lead free.

      • by zlives ( 2009072 )

        wonder where the Fed is on water and lead
        “That represents nearly 20% of the water systems nationally testing above the agency’s ‘action level’ of 15 parts per billion,” according to the story"https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/03/17/its-not-just-flint-lead-taints-water-across-the-u-s-the-epa-says/

      • Then buy only certified lead free paint. But then again, importing Paint from China you might be getting lead in it again, but that's okay, since RACISM! (or profit, free trade or ....)

        BTW, when you moved into your older home, you did test the paint for lead, right? If not, you really don't care about being lead free (lots of older homes have lead paint in them, legacy) I tested my home, not so newer one, and it had lead in it. Made the cleanup part of the escrow. The realtor was shocked, and the house beca

        • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

          My current home was built in 2009 so I haven't thought about getting it tested.

          And the one before that was more or less a prefab. I was told it was lead free but I never had it tested.

    • by downright ( 1625607 ) on Thursday May 05, 2016 @05:10PM (#52056205)

      Um.... not all laws are in the constitution. There is nothing in the constitution about murder or manufacturing pipe bombs in your garage either but yet somehow the federal government found the authority to create laws about those.

    • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

      The federal government has ZERO authority to do this

      Would you care to place a wager on that?

    • You might have a case if this substance was not sold or sold only within one state. As it stands the Commerce Clause [wikipedia.org] applies.

  • E-cigarettes should be regulated, but I've read that the new regulations require that manufacturers go through a testing procedure that will cost over one million dollars. Right now, there's a lot of competition by smaller companies. This may force out all of the smaller players.

    • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

      Sounds like standard practice to me.

      No way should the barriers actually be that high however i don't like the idea of them being able to sell just anything they mixed up in their basement either.

      • There's a huge gap between "selling something that's mixed up in their basement" and "mandatory testing which costs 1 million dollars".

        • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

          Yes proper regulation would be somewhere in between.

          But still pretty far away from million dollar testing.

    • Who has a lot to gain from making a prohibitively costly barrier to entry for small vendors?

      Maybe the same ones who benefited form the outlawing of "flavored" type cigarettes that were sold by niche retailers.

      Big tobacco is alive and well, the pitiful thing is that now they are doing their bidding with full public support.

    • I've read that the new regulations require that manufacturers go through...

      Citation please. They may only need to list the ingredients in order of content to comply.

  • Better Link (Score:4, Informative)

    by bughunter ( 10093 ) <bughunter&earthlink,net> on Thursday May 05, 2016 @05:11PM (#52056217) Journal

    Vox has a better rundown [vox.com] of the FDA's announced regulations.

    The good news is that it's not armageddon for vapers and sellers:

    the FDA is allowing companies to continue to sell their products for up to two years while they submit their applications to the agency — and for another year during the approval process.

    When I smoke, I still smoke cigs. But I have lots of friends who vape. Personally, I find the propylene glycol vapor more irritating than tobacco smoke.

    • You can use a pure vegetable glycerin base instead. It's not as popular as it's a little thicker and doesn't create great clouds of visible smoke but, it's a lot easier on the lungs.

      • Posting anon because mod.

        Sorry, you're wrong. It's the other way around. VG makes much more vapor, and it is preety much popular nowadays. Three years ago liquids were mainly PG or 50/50 mix, nowadays most liquids are much higher VG.

        So, VG: more vapor, softer; PG: better flavouring, more ''throat-hit''

  • by hsmith ( 818216 ) on Thursday May 05, 2016 @05:14PM (#52056241)
    So they can tax the fuck out of it. Can't have something stealing tax dollars from uncle sugar now can we?
    • you can also not smoke i quit myself.
    • by Qzukk ( 229616 )

      That's strange, they can tax the fuck out of it without forcing the companies to prove that their mix doesn't make formaldehyde when vaporized.

    • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

      So they can tax the fuck out of it. Can't have something stealing tax dollars from uncle sugar now can we?

      What makes you think they couldn't do that before? The FDA has nothing to do with that. Hell the feds or any state could tax butternut squash 10000% tomorrow with the passing of a single law, no FDA required.

  • by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Thursday May 05, 2016 @05:15PM (#52056249) Journal

    Thus does the FDA demonstrate with the occasional bad rule the ability to cost more lives than it saves.

    Go after charlatans, sure. But this needing permission to move slows thing down, which means more deaths as alternatives are delayed.

    • the FDA is allowing companies to continue to sell their products for up to two years while they submit their applications to the agency — and for another year during the approval process.

      They [vox.com] are not slowing down anything.

      • I don't vape (or smoke, for that matter), but you're crazy if you don't think this will negatively impact alternatives to smoking.

        From the very article you're citing:

        Meanwhile, there's a separate contingent of doctors and health advocates who see vaping as a good way to move people off regular cigarettes and think the new regulations might go too far. They have worried that if e-cigarettes are regulated too heavily, or become too expensive because of the cost of regulatory compliance, the public could miss

  • My vape uses medical grade nicotine in the liquid, I wouldn't call that a tobacco product. Even then the nicotine is completely optional, I've been decreasing how much is added to my liquid slowly and expect to completely wean myself off nicotine eventually. Vaping is how I quit smoking tobacco products (cigarettes) and thanks to a locally owned vape shop chain I now spend hundreds less on my nicotine addiction with much less danger to my health. (yes there is still the danger of the flavor additives and nicotine itself) So are they now going to regulate vapes and liquids? It sure looks like it...
    • by superwiz ( 655733 ) on Thursday May 05, 2016 @05:39PM (#52056491) Journal
      it's no more tobacco than a can of coke is a cup of coffee.
    • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

      My vape uses medical grade nicotine in the liquid, I wouldn't call that a tobacco product. Even then the nicotine is completely optional, I've been decreasing how much is added to my liquid slowly and expect to completely wean myself off nicotine eventually. Vaping is how I quit smoking tobacco products (cigarettes) and thanks to a locally owned vape shop chain I now spend hundreds less on my nicotine addiction with much less danger to my health. (yes there is still the danger of the flavor additives and nicotine itself) So are they now going to regulate vapes and liquids? It sure looks like it...

      Well then they could just regulate it as a drug then I guess, since it's not a product of naturally grown tobacco. That's what they do with a lot of other drugs that have natural as well as synthetic sources.

      I agree with the FDA there needs to be regulation so that the public knows what they are buying and that it's safe (particularly when it comes to the flavor ingredients which, while GRAS for ingestion does not mean they are safe to inhale). But they really need to not make it so financially burdensome

    • I was a committed smoker like you that flipped to vaping. I find the entire fuckbrah vape/hoverboard culture to be pretty amusing, kids who have never smoked before having cloud blowing contests... Haha! I personally welcome the FDA's regulatory entry into the eCig world. I agree that they should not be treated as a tobacco product though.

      I pay the FDA to make sure the food and drugs I consume are safe. I pay them to do periodic inspections on that "medical grade" nicotine, PG, VG and flavors to make
  • With a company selling a substance whose main appeal is being addictive. Anything else remember the "cycle of consumption" from The Space Merchants?
  • pretty much every state was treating it as a Tabacco product anyways. eg not selling to those under 18.
  • is the bad guy now
  • I guess the producers of e-cigs couldn't ask for a better way to promote their business. In fact, their lobbyists could have spent their entire budget on getting this done and it still wouldn't be enough money spent on it. First, it will popularize e-cigs today because of the current climate of general distrust for the government. And then it will eliminate competition in the future by producing huge regulatory barriers to entry for new producers after the patents expire.
  • Lies and Damn Lies (Score:4, Insightful)

    by transami ( 202700 ) on Thursday May 05, 2016 @07:12PM (#52057179) Homepage

    Basically big corporations are using this legislation to take over the e-cig market. If you have to pay the FDA $2 million to approve a device, then that's the end of everyone but a few big players. And that's how our government works. This has absolutely nothing to do with the actual health of people. It's all lies.

  • by ofprimes ( 174237 ) on Friday May 06, 2016 @03:11AM (#52058937)

    I have been on one form of tobacco or another since I was 14 years old, and am now 49. I gave vaping a try about two months ago because even knowing no science, one can deduce that inhaling water (glycerine) vapor must be healthier than inhaling the fumes produced by the combustion of once-living dried plant matter. Upon further research, I could find NO evidence proving that any of the chemicals in (most brands of) vape e-liquids are harmful. Glycerine/glycol, nicotine and flavor, and that's it. So it started to seem, hypothetically, that I need not give up the chemical I have been addicted to and have enjoyed since my teens, but I can give up ALL of the bad crap in tobacco (I used chewing tobacco for 10 years as well), and all of the carcinogens and smoke and ashtrays and constant burns and lighters and coughing and smell and ash etc,, and then even save a butt-ton of money as well?? Too good to be true!! I thought if this were truly the case it would be all over the news and immediately show the potential to curb, if not eliminate, the two leading causes of death in the US, right?? Weird...

    So I before I switched to vaping about two months ago I smoked 2-4 full-size premium cigars a day. Since I switched I have not had a single cigar or even a hit off of one. My lungs definitely feel better and I can breathe deeper, I have more energy, and have lost weight. No kidding. In every aspect I feel as though I have quit smoking. No more smell at home or ashes all over the car. Yes, I'm still getting the addictive chemical, but I feel as though my end-of-life clock is jumping ahead by days and months since I switched to vaping. But guess what, I'm still a smoker according to this ruling. My e-liquid nicotine levels have been reduced to 1/3 what they were when I started, and I'm about ready to go down another notch. Eventually I may be just be inhaling flavored steam. Still a smoker?

    I agree about restricting access to anything with nicotine, and even the hardware (just like head-shops), but I think it will need to change soon enough once the science comes out about the difference in health risk data when comparing the two. Otherwise I have a feeling big insurance will twist this in a way to maximize profits while reducing claims, just like Uncle Sam. Just a hunch.

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