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Can Tobacco Industry win the e-cigs fight?

Oct
19

Date: October 19th, 2016

The Food and Drug Administration effected a rule from 8th August 2016 that seeks to regulate the e-cigs as well as other tobacco products such as premium cigars and hookahs just like it regulates the smokeless tobacco and traditional cigarettes. The main intention is to limit the minors from accessing it and also ensure some products are reviewed scientifically. This announcement had been made by the FDA in May.

What’s new in the rule?

The rule expands on how tobacco products are defined so as to feature in little cigars, premium cigars, pipe tobacco, hookahs, e-cigarettes as well as other products.

FDA referred to the action as a milestone in protecting the consumer and said that it now has the ability to review any new incoming tobacco product yet to be used in the market. Apart from that, it will stop tobacco product manufacturers from providing misleading claims, assess the contents of the tobacco products and the mode of making them and also alert on any risks posed by the tobacco products.

How FDA arrived at the decision

In order to incorporate the final rule, FDA held 3 separate public workshops to obtain information about the devices and their impact on public health. The body stopped receiving comments from the public in July 2nd. More than 130,000 comments were submitted and the regulatory body reviewed all.

Some of the aims of the workshop included identifying the risks of e-cigs when correctly used and the amount of nicotine and other chemicals taken into the body when one inhales. It also sought to find if there was any health benefits tied to the e-cigarettes. Some past studies have shown that someone can conveniently quit smoking using them.

The Royal College of Physicians released a report in 2014 suggesting that e-cigarettes were the best alternative for the traditional cigarettes. They said that these would lower the harm on smokers.

The regulations heralded

The American Lung Association was pleased by the action saying that this is a step waited for a long time to keep the public health safe. It said that the FDA will now be able to make decisions based on science so as to protect the youths and the public in general.

The American Academy of Pediatrics also said in May that it would welcome the new rule. Dr. Benard Dreyer, its president, termed the regulation as a historic move that would alleviate nicotine addiction among the youths.

According to data presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of adults using e-cigarettes has gone up by nearly 12.6 percent since 2014. Of the adults that attempted quitting in the same year, over half of them picked on e-cigs as an alternative and over 20 percent started using them. Only 3 percent of those who had not smoked before tried them. What has made the public health leaders more concerned is the increase in the 18-24-year-olds smoking. The new regulations thus blocks the 18’s from buying the products.

Children troubled by e-cigarettes

Research findings indicate that children are getting more and more troubled by e-cigarettes. CDC found out that the number of teens using the e-cigs in 2016 tripled within a year. Dr. Tom Frieden, the CDC director said that these are deeply troubling figures.

The e-cigarettes come in flavors that are friendly to the kids such as atomic fireball candy, gummy bear, cream and cookies. But with the new rules, the government will now have a voice over what is put in the products.

The only companies excluded from showing what is in the products are those which have operated before 2007. The first time FDA made a big move in regulating e-cigs was in 2009 when it did test on some samples. It detected some carcinogens and toxic chemicals at that time, prompting its actions. It warned users of the harmful substances and banned selling of e-cigarettes.
But the new rules will force companies to register with FDA and warn the public of the health implications through ads and packages. The agency can now evaluate the health impacts that these products have.

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