I have posted a number of previous notes about e-cigarettes including suggestions that they need to be regulated more tightly (see: GlaxoSmithKline Lobbies Against E-cigarettes; Motivation for Company Clear; E-Cigarette Poison Center Calls Surge; E-Cigarettes Should Be Made Illegal). The sale of these "electronic devices" containing a vial of a highly toxic chemical, nicotine, has largely been unregulated. Now comes news the the FDA is tightening its rules on the product (see: F.D.A. Tightens Rules for E-Cigarettes in a Landmark Move). Below is an excerpt from the article:
The Food and Drug Administration made final sweeping new rules that for the first time extend federal regulatory authority to e-cigarettes, popular nicotine delivery devices that have grown into a multibillion-dollar business with virtually no federal oversight or protections for American consumers.The 499-page regulatory road map has broad implications for public health, the tobacco industry and the nation’s 40 million smokers. The new regulations would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to Americans under 18 and would require that people buying them show photo identification to prove their age, measures already mandated in a number of states. The rules also impose regulations on cigars. The regulations, which will take effect in 90 days, establish oversight of what has been a market free-for-all of products, including vials of liquid nicotine of varying quality and unknown provenance. Producing them has taken years. They stem from a major tobacco-control law Congress passed in 2009. They were first proposed in draft form in 2014....Perhaps the biggest proposed change would require producers of cigars and e-cigarettes to register with the F.D.A., provide the agency with a detailed accounting of their products’ ingredients, and disclose their manufacturing processes and scientific data. Producers would also be subject to F.D.A. inspections and would not be able to market their products as “light” or “mild,” unless the F.D.A. allowed them to. Companies would also be prohibited from giving out free samples.
One of my biggest concerns about e-cigarettes is that the manufacturers have been offering different flavors for "vaping" that have acted as an incentive to entice teenagers to develop a nicotine addiction. Here's more information about this form of addition (see: Is Nicotine Addictive?):
Research has shown how nicotine acts on the brain to produce a number of effects. Of primary importance to its addictive nature are findings that nicotine activates reward pathways...A key brain chemical involved in mediating the desire to consume drugs is the neurotransmitter dopamine, and research has shown that nicotine increases levels of dopamine in the reward circuits. This reaction is similar to that seen with other drugs of abuse and is thought to underlie the pleasurable sensations experienced by many smokers. For many tobacco users, long-term brain changes induced by continued nicotine exposure result in addiction.