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US FDA effects regulation on minor e-cigarette sale

By Maureen Blas / 2016.08.10
Christopher Chin blows vapor from an e-cigarette at Gone With the Smoke Vapor Lounge on May 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California.

Minors will no longer be sold e-cigarettes starting Monday, Aug. 8. The US Food and Drug Administration officially began the implementation which followed a judge's decision in May.

The US FDA started its regulation on the use of e-cigarettes among minors. Aside from e-cigarettes, vape pens along with other tobacco products that utilize similar electronic devices will be banned as well.  Retailers should deal with e-cigarettes the exact way they did with cigars and cigarettes. They need to verify first the buyer's age as opposed to their photo ID, The Verge reported.

These regulations are described in the Tobacco Control Act of 2009, which controls the selling of tobacco products to anyone less than 18 years of age. Retailers are prohibited not to provide free samples or sell them in vending machines where all ages can access it.

"This final rule is a foundational step that enables the FDA to regulate products young people were using at alarming rates, like e-cigarettes, cigars and hookah tobacco, which had gone largely unregulated," says Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA Center for Tobacco Products.

Zeller added that e-cigarette producers are also prohibited to elevate the use of such smoking devices as a healthy substitute to smoking.  That is if they can show or prove their claim with a solid scientific evidence.

As for the manufacturers, they will need to provide new and present products for evaluation and reviewing of the FDA. The products sold should be not later than Feb. 15, 2007.

Medical associations lauded FDA's campaign which is also worried that e-cigarettes are used as a key drug to entice teenagers into a lifelong addiction to smoking, according to Health Day.

"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," says Harold Wimmer, national president and CEO of the American Lung Association.

However, not everyone is happy about the regulation FDA has imposed.  E-cigarette groups organized a legal battle to halt the regulatory agency. They also threaten that should the regulation be fully implemented, the vapor industry will be wasted.

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