FDA proposes regulation of E-cigarettes - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

FDA proposes regulation of E-cigarettes

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5)- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued the "FDA Rule" back in 1996, officially asserting it's authority over tobacco products. But since then more and more new tobacco products have entered the marketplace and many of those remain unregulated. News Channel 5's Rachael Penton takes a look at the FDA's proposed plans to change that.

The electronic cigarette is a product that has continued to grow in use.

"They're using it as an alternative to quit smoking a regular cigarette," says Bill Bailey, owner of Smoker's Paradise in Pineville. 

E-cigarettes have seen no restrictions, but now the FDA wants to change that.

"That's what the FDA is trying to do. They're trying to let the consumer make a more informed decision about what they're putting into their bodies," says Amie Staerk, Educational Resource Nurse at Rapides Regional Medical Center. 

Under the proposed changes, currently unregulated tobacco products like E-cigs would have to follow new rules.

"What the FDA is trying to do is have E-cigarettes regulated like traditional cigarettes in the sense that all ingredients good or bad have to be listed," adds Stark.

There would also be minimum age restrictions to prevent sales to underage youth.

"I think it's a product that should be age-restricted. I totally agree with that. As a store and as a business owner we have always age restricted the product," says Bailey.

Although E-cigs have been marketed as a healthy alternative the long-term health effects are unknown.

"From a personal stand point I think that the E-cigarette is a healthier product. Is it healthy? No probably not. I come from the train of thought that anything that you ingest into your body that's not natural is probably not the healthiest thing for you," says Bailey.

"There's no evidence-based data that can support yay or nay when is comes to is the E-cigarette a healthful alternative," says Stark.

It's all a part of the FDA's mission to make the next generation tobacco-free.

"We really are moving to an overall healthier population and that has to start with the younger generations," says Stark.

Some of the other products that would be included in the proposal include cigars, pipe and hookah tobacco, nicotine gels, and dissolvables.
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