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Catharine Candelario, an employee at the newly opened Henley Vaporium, vapes, or smokes an electronic cigarette, on December 19, 2013 in New York City.
The e-cigarette industry has hitherto been untouched by federal regulation. That changed Thursday with a set of recommendations the Federal Food and Drug Administration has proposed to rein in the industry.
The proposed rules seek to ban sales of e-cig devices to anyone under 18 and would require that e-cig products be FDA-approved. In addition, e-cig manufacturers would need to disclose the chemicals used in their products and will be banned from giving out free samples. There would also be new health warnings raising awareness about the addictiveness of nicotine.
The proposed e-cig regulations are less stringent than the ones in place for traditional cigarettes. And critics of the new rules charge that they don’t do enough to curtail manufacturers from targeting minors by banning flavoring or television advertising.
The public can comment on the recommendations for the next 75 days.
Tom Burton, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who covers medicine and the Federal Food and Drug Administration for the Wall Street Journal.