According to ClearWay Minnesota, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are an untested product and have not been proven to be a safe alternative to smoking. E-cigarettes are battery -operated products designed to deliver nicotine to the user by heating liquid nicotine, derived from tobacco plants, along with flavors and other chemicals, into a vapor that the user inhales.
A Center for Disease Control (CDC) study found that use of e-cigarettes among middle and high school students more than doubled between 2011 and 2012. E-cigarettes contain fruit and candy flavors that are appealing to youth. Liquid nicotine solution containers are non-child resistant, and can deliver dangerously high does of liquid nicotine to youth either intentionally or unintentially. The FDA has authority to regulate electronic cigarettes as tobacco products under the Tobacco Control Act. Several Attorneys General, including Minnesota Attorney General, Lori Swanson, have written to urge the FDA to take measures to meet the FDA’s stated deadline of October 31, 2013, to issue proposed regulations that will address the advertising, ingredients, and sale to minors of electronic cigarettes. In addition, the FDA has not approved e-cigarettes as an effective method to help smokers quit.
For More information:
- U.S. Surgeon General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, The Health Consequences of Smoking: Nicotine Addiction (1988); Emergency Response Safety and Health Database, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health -Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ershdb/EmergencyResponseCard_29750028.html
- Tobacco Control Act http://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/ucm298595.htm