The U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants to extend its authority to regulate additional tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, nicotine gels and hookah tobacco.
“We are behind the 8 ball, especially when it comes to e-cigs since we don’t know about the health risks," Mitch Zeller of the FDA told Channel 4’s Bruce Hamilton. “It’s like the Wild West out there for kids and e-cigarettes.”
The CDC found that the use of electronic cigarettes among middle and high school students doubled between 2011 and 2012.
“We don’t know the full impact of these products on our nation’s health, or whether they serve as a gateway to the use of regular cigarettes, or influence the behavior of current smokers,” Zeller said.
In light of the alarming increase in the number of our kids who are using these unregulated products, the FDA wants some oversight to help protect consumers through age restrictions, rigorous review of new tobacco products and claims and health warnings.
Right now they want public input so for more information visit www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts.