Some people use Electronic Cigarettes as a way to get their nicotine fix, but are they really safer? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants to find out. The agency proposed studying and regulating the E- Cigarettes as a way to inform and protect the public.
“They’re growing, leaps and bounds. People want to get off cigarettes,” said Tracy Raudebaugh, a store manager at the Smokers Outlet on Mount Rose Avenue in York County.
The battery operated device turns chemicals and nicotine into an aerosol that is inhaled. Vaping or smoking E-Cigs is seen by users as a safer alternative to regular cigarettes.
If the proposal goes through the FDA would regulate E-Cigarettes just as they do cigarettes. “It still has nicotine in it, so people do get addicted and there are some chemicals in it,” said Marie Drawbaugh, a Tobacco Education Cessation Counselor with Wellspan.
FDA regulations would ban the sale of E-Cigarettes to minors. “We really find that a lot of young people using it because it’s high tech and what they are doing. We are finding that junior high and senior high are using it more so,” said Drawbaugh.
A rule already followed at the Smokers Outlet. “They have nicotine in them, so we do require ID,” said Raudebaugh.
E-Cigarette makes would also have to use health labels that warn users that nicotine is an addictive chemical. Companies would have to register with the FDA and disclose ingredients.
“I want to know what I am putting into my body just like the average consumer wants to know what they are putting into their body too,” said Raudebaugh, who doesn’t think this will affect the business. “People are going to buy them. It’s just like any other product. If they want it they are going to buy it regardless. But it is a good idea.”
The FDA is accepting public comment, and then will come up with a final proposal. This could take months or even longer.
For more information from the FDA click here.