FDA moves toward regulating e-cigarettes

Updated: Thursday, April 24 2014, 06:16 PM CDT
FDA moves toward regulating e-cigarettes story image
More and more Americans are turning to electronic cigarettes.
Unlike regular cigarettes, the new devices have been largely unregulated until now.

The Food and Drug Administration is now moving to control who uses them, and where.

"It's the wild wild west in terms of what people are doing with products evolving with no regulatory oversight."

They're a battery powered device that gives a nicotine buzz from a vapor.
It doesn't have the tobacco tar found in traditional cigarettes.

Today the FDA announced its highly-anticipated proposed regulations.
If approved e-cigarette sales would be banned to people under age 18.

A warning label would be placed on the devices, and e-cigarette manufacturers would be required to tell the FDA what's in their products.

Dorothy Reno says she's a part-time e-cigarette smoker.
She and her husband - an addicted tobacco smoker - did extensive research and believe there's less harm then a traditional cigarette.

Honestly something just pleasant about smoking the e-cigarette. it's a little bit of cross between incense and being in a wet sauna.

But there's intense debate about whether e-cigarettes really are safer.
Proponents say they help tobacco smokers kick the habit but opponents say they're a gateway to the real deal.

Government officials and doctors worry that the variety or flavors and colors makes e-cigarettes very appealing to kids.

"We need to understand about whether those kids that are using ecigs are going on to use regular cigarettes as well."

But there still won't be restrictions on advertising unlike traditional cigarettes. 
Analysts expected e-cigarette sales to reach nearly 2 billion dollars last year.

A small fraction of what Americans spend on tobacco cigarettes.
More health related storiesFDA moves toward regulating e-cigarettes
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