New Rule Extends FDA Authority Over Tobacco, Nicotine Products

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New Rule Extends FDA Authority Over Tobacco, Nicotine Products
New Rule Extends FDA Authority Over Tobacco, Nicotine Products

THURSDAY, May 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that it is banning the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors, as part of its long-awaited plan to extend the agency's regulatory powers across all tobacco products.

The new rules would halt the sale of e-cigarettes and any other tobacco product to anyone younger than 18. The regulations also would require photo IDs to buy e-cigarettes, and ban retailers from handing out free samples or selling them in all-ages vending machines. The rules will go into effect in 90 days, the FDA said, and also cover other alternative forms of tobacco like cigars, hookah tobacco, and pipe tobacco.

Manufacturers of e-cigarettes also will be required to submit new and existing products to the FDA for review and evaluation, unless the product was sold prior to Feb. 15, 2007. That grandfathering date means that 99 percent of all e-cigarette and vaping products now on the market will have to be submitted for FDA review, according to a statement by the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association. The FDA anticipates that existing e-cigarette brands will have at least three more regulation-free years on the market -- two years while manufacturers prepare their product application and another year for FDA review.

The new regulations bring e-cigarettes and other alternative tobacco products in line with the FDA rules that already govern traditional cigarettes, the agency said. As a result, e-cigarette manufacturers will have to: report all ingredients, including potentially harmful ones; place health warnings on product packages and advertisements; refrain from selling their products as "low-risk" tobacco alternatives unless specifically authorized by the FDA.

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