(AMA Wire) Posted at 4/24/2014 5:25 PM CDT
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Thursday released a proposed rule that would give the agency authority to regulate alternative tobacco products that are growing in popularity.
Such currently unregulated products as e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, nicotine gels, hookah and dissolvables would be brought under the FDA’s authority to help keep tobacco products out of the hands of minors and prevent additional Americans from becoming dependent on such harmful products.
The proposed rule includes provisions aimed at preventing tobacco-related diseases and deaths, including:
• A minimum age requirement and identification restrictions to prevent sales to people who are underage
• Required health warnings
• A prohibition of sales through vending machines to which minors might have access
The proposed rule leaves room for additional needed improvements, including banning flavors for e-cigarettes and cigars, which can contribute to the appeal for young people. But the new rule is moving in the right direction.