June 10, 2014
1 min read

AMA adopts policy calling for stricter regulation of e-cigarette sales to minors

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The American Medical Association has adopted a new policy petitioning for tighter restrictions on the sale and marketing of electronic cigarettes to minors, the association announced in a press release.

The policy, which was adopted at AMA’s Annual Meeting, is an extension of the policy adopted by the association in 2010. The 2010 policy called for electronic cigarettes to be held to the same FDA regulatory standards and oversight as tobacco and nicotine products.

The updated policy reiterates and supports a proposal by the FDA calling for greater transparency, education and restriction in product labeling and marketing of electronic cigarettes to minors.

The specifics of the AMA’s proposal are as follows, according to the press release:

  • Disclosures regarding design, content and emissions of electronic cigarettes;
  • Child-proof/tamper-proof product packaging and design;
  • Improved product labeling;
  • Restriction of electronic cigarette flavors that appeal to minors;
  • Banning of unsubstantiated marketing claims endorsing electronic cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool.
  • Minimum purchase age restrictions for electronic cigarettes.

According to incoming AMA president Robert M. Wah, MD, the policy clarifies the AMA’s stance on electronic cigarettes and will serve as guidance for supporting the FDA’s proposed regulation.

Robert M. Wah, MD 

Robert M. Wah

“The AMA supports an FDA proposal to fill the gap in federal regulations on purchasing, labeling, packaging and advertising of electronic cigarettes,” Wah said in the press release. “The new policy will guide the AMA’s future efforts to strongly encourage the proposed FDA regulation as a notable and important step to improve public health and deter the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.”

According to a report from the CDC cited in the press release, the use of electronic cigarettes by middle school and high school students has more than doubled in recent years, from 3.3% in 2011 to 6.8% in 2012.

Additionally, the AMA calls for the development of strategies to block the marketing of electronic cigarettes and nicotine delivery systems to minors.

“Improving the health of the nation is AMA’s top priority and we will continue to advocate for policies that help reduce the burden of preventable diseases like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, which can both be linked to smoking,” Wah said in the press release.