More than a year after proposing regulations for e-cigs — battery-powered devices that vaporize liquid nicotine — the US Food and Drug Administration has sent its final rule over to the White House for review, The Hill reports.
The rule was forwarded Monday, and the White House's Office of Management and Budget has 90 days to look it over. But the timeframe can be extended to allow for further discussion, an FDA spokesperson told The Hill. That means that the FDA — and the public — might not hear back for a while. Still, it looks like the most wide-ranging e-cig regulations that the US has ever seen are on their way.
Right now, the FDA only regulates e-cigs marketed for therapeutic purposes
Right now, the only e-cigs that are regulated by the FDA are ones that are marketed for therapeutic purposes. The FDA's initial proposal, released in April of last year, is meant to change that by redefining e-cigarettes as "tobacco products." According to the initial proposal, sales of nicotine-vapor dispensers to minors will be banned and manufacturers will be required to print nicotine warnings on their products. Manufacturers will also have to register a list of ingredients for their products.
The final rule will probably fall short of health advocates' expectations, however. In June of last year, the White House's OMB weakened some of the language that could have been used to prevent the online sale of e-cigs. The OMB also removed language that detailed the FDA's concerns regarding the safety of e-cigs. Health advocates have also expressed concern over the fact that companies will still be able to advertise flavored e-cigs under the new rule — a feature that could be used to target minors, some say.