New E-Cigarette Rule 2016: Vapes, Hookahs, Pipes To Be Sanctioned Like Regular Cigarettes Soon
E-cigarettes, hookahs and pipes will soon be subject to regulation by the US Food and Drug Administration as reports of health risks rise. The proposal for the e-cigarette rule was first introduced in 2014 to address possibly misleading claims and, following extensive research, to properly communicate their effects to the public.
In the final ruling, Sylvia Burwell, the secretary of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Robert Califf, the commissioner of the FDA, announced that the definition of tobacco products will be expanded. This will include premium and little cigars, pipe tobacco, e-cigarettes, hookahs and others of the sort.
It will take time before the new regulation goes into effect, though, because they need to give companies time to comply. The full text of the e-cigarette rule is set to be published on the Federal Register on May 10.
The Beginnings The E-Cigarette Rule
The new e-cigarette rule covers all related products produced from Feb. 15, 2007, before e-cigs were brought to market. According to CNN, over the past two years, the FDA has held three workshops to obtain more information on the unregulated devices, resulting with about 130,000 public comments to arrive at the final decision.
During these public fora, the content, risks and potential health benefits of the product were studied. An article by TIME pointed out that while e-cigs have not been found to contain the same amount of carcinogens like the regular cigarettes, they do contain the highly addictive nicotine.
Another TIME report also found that the other chemicals used in e-cigs, like diacetyl and acetoin, may eventually harm the lungs. A study led by Harvard assistant professor Joseph Allen found that while vaping is "generally recognized as safe," this pertains only to ingestion and not when it is inhaled.
Applying The New E-Cigarette Rule
Effective 90 days from the start of the new e-cigarette rule, the portion that states that these products can no longer be sold to minors will be enforced in all US states. Companies will also be prohibited from giving these out as free samples.
Vapes and their accessories will be withdrawn from vending machines. Eventually, following a grace period, the new e-cigarette rule will require to register their products with the FDA and explicitly place health warnings of all their packages.