News & Resources

August 25, 2016. Category: Medical Malpractice

FDA Prevents Sale of E-Cigarettes to Minors and Increases Distribution and Marketing Rules

For many, the topic of e-cigarettes is a tricky one. Are they as harmful as traditional cigarettes? Should laws governing them be the same? And are people turning to them as gateway drugs or as a means to wean themselves from another form of nicotine? These are just a few of the questions that come to mind when we bring up the topic.

These days, many people know of the dangers and harm that can come from smoking traditional cigarettes. However, because of the rather new nature of e-cigarettes, also known as vaping, far less judgment and stigma surrounds them…or so you may have thought.

FDA Weighs in on E-Cigarette Safety

A recent ruling by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proves that there may be reason enough to be concerned about the effects that e-cigarettes could potentially have on your health, or the health of those you know.

On August 8, 2016, the FDA began a ban on sales of e-cigarettes to minors—all individuals under the age of 18. The ruling extends further, requiring photo ID to purchase the e-cigarettes, and preventing retailers from distributing free samples. This, in addition to mandating all products that have been on the market since 2007 to undergo federal review, has substantially increased the strictness surrounding sale and usage of e-cigarettes.

So why the heightened concern? As it turns out, e-cigarettes are alarmingly popular among the younger crowd. According to Sylvua Burwell, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “As cigarette smoking among those under 18 has fallen, the use of other nicotine products, including e-cigarettes, has taken a drastic leap. All of this is creating a new generation of Americans who are at risk of addiction.”

The fear lies in the possible link that some studies believe exists between young people and smoking. Those who support the new ban believe that e-cigarettes are a link to traditional cigarettes, arguing that vaping is a gateway drug to nicotine in the traditionally consumed form. However, opponents say that such a link cannot be so easily drawn.

Additionally, the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association, supporters of e-cigarettes, explains that due to the absence of tar and burning tobacco, e-cigarettes are far safer, 95% to be exact, less harmful than their traditional counterparts.

Tougher Requirements for E-Cigarette Advertising

The new rules require companies who promote vaping as a safer form of smoking to prove their claims with scientific evidence. And while this may be daunting, especially with the mounting evidence that it is neither better for the individual nor the environment, we are sure that someone will be up to the challenge. After all, with $115 million spent on advertising in 2014, we doubt that these companies will be throwing in the towel any time soon.

Whether you agree or not is up to you, but as Tampa medical malpractice lawyers, we are glad to see the government doing its part to ensure that the youth has the greatest potential to live healthy, happy lives. What any individual chooses to do is entirely up to them. After all, if your decision is well-informed, then it is the best decision for you.

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