FDA to Regulate E-Cigerettes
On May 5, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it will regulate e cigarettes along with all tobacco products, including hookah, tobacco, cigars and pipe tobacco.
On May 5, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it will regulate e-cigarettes along with all tobacco products, including hookah tobacco, cigars, and pipe tobacco. This new rule supports implementation of the bipartisan Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 and furthers the FDA’s efforts to improve public health and prevent young people from becoming tobacco users through a variety of initiatives.
Some important stipulations in the FDA’s ruling pertain to the sale of e-cigarettes and tobacco products to minors. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell stated in a press release, “Today’s announcement is an important step in the fight for a tobacco-free generation. It will help us catch up with changes in the marketplace, put into place rules that protect our kids, and give adults the information they need to make informed decisions.” Before this ruling, there were no federal laws prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes, hookah tobacco, or cigars to individuals younger than 18. The press release outlines the new regulations regarding the sale of tobacco products to minors:
- Prohibiting the sale of all tobacco products to individuals younger than18 (both in person and online)
- Requiring age verification withphoto identification
- Prohibiting the sale of coveredtobacco products in vendingmachines (unless in adult-only facilities)
- Prohibiting the distribution of free samples
While the FDA ruling may seem significant in the effort to protect Americans from the dangers of nicotine, not all consumers agree. Many individuals use e-cigarettes as smoking cessation aids and claim they will return to smoking traditional cigarettes if e-cigarettes become difficult to obtain. The research on whether e-cigarettes are helpful in smoking cessation is mixed.
In the meantime, dental hygienists can counsel their patients about evidence-based smoking cessation aids and educate them about the FDA ruling. The long-term health impact of e-cigarettes is still unknown, and we want our patients to know we care about their total well-being.
Jill Rethman, RDH, BA
Editor in Chief
From Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. June 2016;14(06):12.