The US government’s new federal rules include a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes to people under the age of 18, reads an article published on BBC News. Moreover, the Food and Drug Administration will require manufacturers to submit their products to the agency for review. The rules also apply to cigars, pipe tobacco, and hookah tobacco.
Recently, California introduced a new anti-smoking legislation that also regulates e-cigarettes, the battery-operated devices that turn flavored nicotine liquid into an inhalable vapor. Although they lack the chemicals and tars of tobacco, and are used by people who are trying to kick the habit of smoking, the nicotine is addictive.
US secretary of health and human services Sylvia Burwell said this ban is “an important step in the fight for a tobacco-free generation”. She added: “It will help us catch up with changes in the marketplace, put into places rules that protect our kids and give adults information they need to make informed decisions”.
In a recent survey it was obvious that e-cigarette use among high school students has increased from 1.5% in 2011 to 16% in 2015, and the use of hookah tobacco has also increased.
The new rules will come into effect in 90 days and will require retailers to ask buyers for proof of age and ban the sale of these products in vending machines. Free samples will also be banned.
Public health advocates are thrilled by the news. Harold Wimmer, president of the American Lung Association, said: “Ending the tobacco epidemic is more urgent than ever, and can only happen if the FDA acts aggressively and broadly to protect all Americans from all tobacco products”.