On June 20th the Food and Drug Administration announced it would be extending the public comment period regarding the federal proposal to regulate and restrict the usage of electronic cigarettes to August 8th. After receiving over 33,700 comments concerning the regulation of e-cigarettes and other tobacco and nicotine products, the FDA has decided to allow additional time to process the mass amount of input they have received in this short time. In addition to regulating e-cigarettes, the FDA is considering expanding its reach to hookahs, nicotine gels and paste, pipe tobacco, and cigars.
Some of the future regulations proposed by the FDA would require e-cigarette manufactures to reveal the ingredients in all of their products, place warning labels stating “nicotine is an additive chemical”, and prohibit manufactures or vendors from claiming e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to cigarettes or other tobacco products. Additionally, vendors would be banned from distributing any free samples and from selling e-cigarettes in vending machines unless they are in locations available only to adults. Considering there is not an exact date when the FDA will execute these final mandates, scientists and researchers around the world are rushing to submit their latest findings regarding electronic cigarettes and their potential health benefits or risks. Unfortunately, many of these scientists are simply hoping to sway regulation one way or the other and many fear the pending regulations could have drastic unforeseen consequences.