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Six Senators Urge Stronger Warnings on E-Cigarettes

Posted by ECigaVapeUSA on 10/13/2014 to E-Cigarette News
Six United States senators urged federal regulators Thursday to require stronger warning labels on e-cigarettes.

In a letter to the Food and Drug Administration, the senators said labels should warn consumers of "the known dangers of nicotine use,” including risks to adolescent brain development.

The F.D.A. has proposed rules governing e-cigarettes, a product that has shot up to nearly $3 billion in annual sales. E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices used to heat nicotine for inhalation, but they do not burn tobacco, as do cigarettes.

Broadly, e-cigarettes are considered far less harmful than cigarettes, a leading cause of preventable death around the world. But the long-term effects of e-cigarettes are not known, which has led to an intensifying debate in public health circles and caution on the part of the F.D.A.

At the heart of the debate is a question of whether e-cigarettes can be a tool to help smokers quit cigarettes but do so without leading to a glorification of smoking or nicotine use, particularly among young people. The uncertain and sometimes conflicting scientific data comes as traditional tobacco companies – the very cigarette makers that smaller e-cigarette makers hope to displace – have become major players in the new market.

A recent article in The New York Times cited by the senators in their letter outlined how these big tobacco companies have put extensive warnings on their e-cigarette packages. By contrast, many smaller e-cigarette companies have more modest warnings or even advertise health benefits of e-cigarettes that some researchers say are simply unsubstantiated.

On the other hand, some e-cigarette industry officials say the extensive warnings go too far and might be based on ulterior motives by the tobacco companies, perhaps to dampen interest in e-cigarettes — a competitor to their traditional products — or to curry favor with regulators. The companies say that is not the case.

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