FDA Issues New Rules for E-Cigarettes

The new rules include a ban on sales to anyone under age 18.

Yui Mok/PA Wire/ZUMA

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On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration unveiled broad new rules governing e-cigarettes, cigars, and hookahs—products that in recent years have exploded in popularity among young people and until now have been largely unregulated. Under the new rules, it will be illegal to sell e-cigarettes to anyone under 18, and companies that manufacture e-cigarettes will be forced to register with the agency.

In addition, vending machines will no longer be allowed to carry e-cigarettes. Free samples of the product will also be prohibited.

The Obama administration’s new rules follow similar age restrictions imposed by a growing number of states out of concern that e-cigarettes are more harmful than the companies producing them have let on. In December, a study conducted by Harvard researchers found that flavored e-cigarettes—with fruity, appealing offerings—were linked to a dangerous lung disease.

“At last, the Food and Drug Administration will have basic authority to make science-based decisions that will protect our nation’s youth and the public health from all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars and hookah,” president of the American Lung Association Harold Wimmer said in a statement on Thursday.

The new rules are likely to be a controversial topic among public health experts, some of whom say e-cigarettes reduce rates of traditional smoking, which they believe to be more dangerous. Just last month, Britain’s Royal College of Physicians concluded that the product was a healthier alternative to smoking.

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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