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FDA unveils tighter rules on e-cigarettes, other products
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday that it will regulate all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah tobacco and pipe tobacco, among others.
The industry’s first federal regulations call for requiring manufacturers to disclose ingredients, banning sales of e-cigarettes to minors and requiring proof of identification for sales.
“We have more to do to help protect Americans from the dangers of tobacco and nicotine, especially our youth. As cigarette smoking among those under 18 has fallen, the use of other nicotine products, including e-cigarettes, has taken a drastic leap. All of this is creating a new generation of Americans who are at risk of addiction,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell. “Today’s announcement is an important step in the fight for a tobacco-free generation – it will help us catch up with changes in the marketplace, put into place rules that protect our kids and give adults information they need to make informed decisions.”
Before Thursday, there was no federal law prohibiting retailers from selling e-cigarettes, hookah tobacco or cigars to people under age 18. Thursday's rule changes that with provisions aimed at restricting youth access, which go into effect in 90 days, including:
- Not allowing products to be sold to persons under the age of 18 years (both in person and online)
- Requiring age verification by photo ID
- Not allowing the selling of covered tobacco products in vending machines (unless in an adult-only facility)
- Not allowing the distribution of free samples
The new rule also requires manufacturers of all newly-regulated products to show that the products meet the applicable public health standard set forth in the law and receive marketing authorization from the FDA, unless the product was on the market as of Feb. 15, 2007. The tobacco product review process gives the agency the ability to evaluate important factors such as ingredients, product design and health risks, as well as their appeal to youth and non-users.
Under staggered timelines, the FDA expects that manufacturers will continue selling their products for up to two years while they submit – and an additional year while the FDA reviews – a new tobacco product application. The FDA will issue an order granting marketing authorization where appropriate; otherwise, the product will face FDA enforcement.
Today’s actions will subject all manufacturers, importers and/or retailers of newly- regulated tobacco products to any applicable provisions, bringing them in line with other tobacco products the FDA has regulated under the TCA since 2009.
These requirements include:
- Registering manufacturing establishments and providing product listings to the FDA
- Reporting ingredients, and harmful and potentially harmful constituents
- Requiring premarket review and authorization of new tobacco products by the FDA
- Placing health warnings on product packages and advertisements
- Not selling modified risk tobacco products (including those described as “light,” “low,” or “mild”) unless authorized by the FDA