FDA Extends Regulations to E-Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products

Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration extended its regulation
of tobacco products last week by ruling they are subject to the Federal
Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), as amended by the Family
Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act).

The Tobacco Control Act gives the FDA regulating authority over cigarettes,
cigarette tobacco, smokeless tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco and other
tobacco products as determined by the Agency’s regulation. This
now applies to e-cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, and other future possible
products that meet the statutory definition of “tobacco products.”

The FD&C Act defines “tobacco product” as
“any product made or derived from tobacco that is intended for human
consumption, including any component, part, or accessory of a tobacco
product (except for raw materials other than tobacco used in manufacturing
a component, part, or accessory of a tobacco product).”

Tobacco Products to Be Regulated Similarly to Cigarettes

The
new regulations in many ways mirror those already in place for traditional cigarettes.
E-cigarettes, cigars, and hookah tobacco will no longer be legally for
sale to minors under the age of 18. Additional new regulations include:

  • A requirement for e-cigarettes to include a warning stating the products
    contain nicotine and may be addictive.
  • A ban on distribution of free samples.
  • A prohibition on selling e-cigarettes in vending machines where minors
    are allowed.
  • A requirement for submission of ingredient listing.
  • Required registration of tobacco manufacturing locations.
  • Prohibition against sale or distribution of tobacco products with risk-minimizing
    descriptions.

Vaping business owners in Indiana and elsewhere are most concerned with
the requirement for government approval of all electronic cigarette products
made after 2007. Vaping advocacy groups go as far as calling the new regulations
“a prohibition” that will essentially close down a majority
of the businesses in the industry.

Disagreement Over Health and Addiction Concerns

The FDA says it is responding to overwhelming concerns about the number
of new tobacco addicts being created through vaping, which many people
believe to be safe. The marketing and sales of these products to young
people is of particular concern, as evidenced by the strong new regulations
regarding sales of e-cigarettes to minors.

Not everyone agrees. In April, the
Royal College of Physicians in the U.K. essentially endorsed the promotion of e-cigarettes in the
name of increasing public health. They believe e-cigarettes are an important
tool in the fight against smoking traditional cigarettes, which carry
a much more significant set of individual health risks than e-cigarettes.
Many Hoosiers agree with this second perspective and are concerned about
a relapse into addiction to traditional cigarettes. For some, e-cigarettes
have provided a lifeline out of their decades-long struggles to quit smoking.

It’s hard to tell what the future will be for the tobacco products
newly subject to FDA approvals. For certain, the health risks of traditional
cigarettes are very real, with tobacco companies like Philip Morris and
R.J. Reynolds in constant litigation over the illnesses and deaths of
their customers. Billions of dollars have been awarded to lung cancer
victims, often as a result of claims the big tobacco companies knew the
hazards and did not properly inform consumers.

If you or a loved one have become ill due to the use of tobacco or other
products, the
product liability attorneys at Wagner Reese will fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.
Call us today for your no-cost, risk-free consultation: (888) 204-8440.