Final Rule Gives FDA Authority to Regulate E-Cigarettes

On May 5, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Sylvia Burwell, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner, Dr. Robert Califf, announced a final rule broadening the definition of tobacco products and giving the FDA authority over the sale, marketing and manufacturing of these products.

“Family Physicians across the country applaud the FDA’s final regulation of e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe and hookah tobacco and other related products. Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and illness in the U.S., and by including e-cigarettes and other nicotine-delivery devices not previously under the FDA’s authority, the agency asserts its commitment to protecting public health," said AAFP President Wanda Filer, MD, MBA, FAAFP, in a statement.

The new rule will go into effect in 90 days, giving companies time to comply with the new regulations. Among those regulations is prohibiting the sale of these products to people under the age of 18. Currently, not all states prohibit sales to minor, and according to data released earlier this year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, e-cigarette use has tripled among teens in just one year.