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Electronic Smoking Device FDA Regulation Updates

A lot of people have questions about electronic smoking devices (also known as ESDs) and their health and safety. That includes the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Until recently, those questions were centered on what the government should do to inspect and approve the devices, as well as nicotine liquids.

Previously, the FDA regulated cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless tobacco. But, in the spring of 2016, the FDA announced they had finalized a new rule, “Deeming Tobacco Products To Be Subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act,” which extends the FDA’s authority to include the regulation of electronic nicotine delivery systems (such as e-cigarettes and vape pens), all cigars, hookah tobacco, pipe tobacco and nicotine gels, among others.

This new rule ensures consumer protection by reviewing new tobacco products not yet on the market, preventing misleading claims by tobacco product manufacturers, evaluating the ingredients of tobacco products and how they are made and communicating the potential risks of tobacco products. Prior to the FDA’s “Deeming Rule,” electronic cigarettes were not subject to any inspection or approval for safety of devices and chemicals used in fluids.

Additional regulations in the FDA’s announcement include the federal prohibition of device and liquid sales to individuals under the age of 18, including provisions that require retailers to check IDs, no sales allowed in vending machines, and no free sampling will be allowed. The recent study finds that kids that use e-cigarettes are more likely to use cigarettes.

TobaccoFree303 applauds the FDA for their leadership in protecting consumers from potentially dangerous products and chemicals. Many of the provisions in this historic action fall directly in line with our mission to protect youth in our community from nicotine addiction and substances that are damaging to their health. For more information of the new regulations and what is currently known about the health impact of electronic cigarette use, please visit To sign up to take action against electronic smoking devices in your community, visit our Get Involved page.