At the same time that electronic cigarettes are soaring in popularity, the US government proposes this Thursday historical rules to prohibit their sale to minors and require warning labels as well as federal approval.
Three years after announcing that it would regulate electronic cigarettes, the Food and Drug Administration is moving to control not only these battery-operated devices, but also cigarettes, pipe tobacco, hookahs (Water pipes) and soluble tobacco products. Currently, the FDA regulates cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and other tobacco products.
The proposed rules do not prohibit advertising unless the products make health claims, nor will they ban the use of flavors such as chocolate or chewing gum, which public health officials say could attract children. .
"This is an important time for consumer protection," said FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, noting that tobacco remains "the leading cause of death and disease in this country." The rules require manufacturers to report their ingredients to the FDA for authorization. They also ban free tobacco samples and most of the sales of vending machines.