The US Food and Drug Administration will officially start regulating the sale of e-cigarettes today. Following a ruling that was finalized back in May, the agency now considers e-cigarettes, vape pens, and other related electronic devices "tobacco products," and will henceforth ban sales to anyone under the age of 18.
Retailers are now banned from selling e-cigarettes to minors
Going forward, retailers will need to treat e-cigs the same way they treat cigarettes and cigars, verifying the customer's age against their photo ID. Meanwhile, most manufacturers will need to verify with the FDA that their products don't carry any additional health risks. The regulations are outlined in the Tobacco Control Act of 2009, which governs the sale of tobacco products to minors.
All this comes as vaping receives more scrutiny as a popular activity among young people. A recent study published last month in Environmental Science & Technology found that, in addition to carcinogenic toxins like formaldehyde already found in e-cig smoke, vapor from e-cigarettes contains two previously unidentified chemicals that can cause cancer. At a time when an estimated 3 million American teens use e-cigarettes, the FDA is doing what it can to make sure teens have limited access to the devices.