In a bid to check the rampant use and booming popularity of the electronic cigarettes, Attorneys Generals of twenty-nine states on Friday sought the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to strengthen its proposed regulations on these modern alternatives to the smokers.
The FDA, which was facing pressure from the health analysts and researchers to bring stringent laws against e-cigs use, had earlier this year proposed some federal restrictions on the products for the first time. The restrictions included a ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes to those under 18. The buyers were required to produce their identification documents so as to verify their age.
The attorneys generals hailed these initiatives in their letter to the FDA but underlined that they were not enough to serve the purpose.
In the letter to the federal agency, the AGs said, “While the Proposed Rule addresses some of our concerns, it fails to address matters of particular concern, such as characterizing flavors, the marketing of e-cigarettes, and the sale of tobacco products over the Internet.”
The Attorneys Generals also urged the health body to prohibit sale of flavors for electronic cigarette. Over 7,000 flavors for e-cigs, including Graham Cracker and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, are available in the market. According to the public health officials, these flavored e-cigs can be used to lure to children and teens.
Notably, the FDA had banned flavors like clove, vanilla and chocolate from regular cigarettes in a bid to check the teens and children from engaging in the habit. Menthol was exempted from ban.
In the letter, the AGs also sought the federal agency to bring restrictions on the marketing and advertising of e-cigs.
“Each year, electronic cigarette companies spend millions of dollars advertising their product — often on prime-time television — glamorizing smoking in the same way combustible cigarettes did before those commercials were banned. And each year, more and more youth try electronic cigarettes, exposing themselves to the proven dangers of nicotine,” Eric T. Schneiderman, the Attorney General of New York said in a statement.
Schneiderman was one of the signatories of the letter which sought for stricter laws for e-cigarette regulation.
Electronic cigarettes have always remained a debatable issue among the health experts, thanks to the dismal research work.
These modern cigarettes are conceived as a good way to quit smoking habits and a better alternative to traditional cigarettes. But their growing use among the Americans especially the teens, at a time when the health efficacy of the e-cigs are not clear, have raised concerns among the lawmakers and researchers.
The manufacturers of electronic cigarettes must be unhappy with the move as the e-cigs bring them a business of over USD 2.5 billion and this industry is growing with virtually no regulatory oversight.