May 05, 2016
5 min read

FDA extends authority over e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah tobacco

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The FDA today extended its regulatory authority over all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars and hookah tobacco, prohibiting retailers from selling these products to persons aged younger than 18 years, according to a press release.

The regulations, which help implement the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009, will go into effect in 90 days.

Sylvia Mathews Burwell

Sylvia Mathews Burwell

“Today’s announcement is an important step in the fight for a tobacco-free generation,” Sylvia Mathews Burwell, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said in the release. “It will help us catch up with changes in the marketplace, put into place rules that protect our kids, and give adults information they need to make informed decisions.”

A survey reported by the FDA and CDC showed that e-cigarette use among high school students rose from 1.5% in 2011 to 16% in 2015, the release said. Before today, no federal law prohibited retailers from selling e-cigarettes, hookah tobacco or cigars to children aged younger than 18. Today’s rule will allow the FDA to restrict retailers from selling tobacco products to children by requiring photo ID for age verification. For these new tobacco products, the FDA will require the manufacturer to register their establishment, provide product listings, report ingredients, pass premarket review and authorization, place health warnings on packages and advertisements, and not sell any modified-risk tobacco products unless authorized.

“As cigarette smoking among those under 18 has fallen, the use of other nicotine products, including e-cigarettes, has taken a drastic leap,” Burwell said. “All of this is creating a new generation of Americans who are at risk of addiction. We have more to do to help protect Americans from the dangers of tobacco and nicotine, especially our youth.”