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FDA to regulate e-cigarettes

Proposed rules ban sales to minors, do not address flavors

As Jerry Canavati enjoyed vaping electronic cigarettes with his friends Thursday, the FDA announced rules to regulate the booming industry including banning their sale to minors and requiring warning labels.

As Jerry Canavati enjoyed vaping electronic cigarettes with his friends Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration announced rules to regulate the booming industry including banning their sale to minors and requiring warning labels.  

Regulations would also require manufacturers to report to the FDA what is in their products.

"I'm interested in knowing that, very interested," said Canavati. He credits e-cigarettes with helping him quit conventional cigarettes.

"I would like for them to regulate it even though the cost may go up," he said. "I'd rather be safe than later sorry."

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that contain levels of nicotine and varying ingredients, including flavorings. The liquid is heated into a vapor that users inhale.

They've been marketed as better alternatives to tobacco and as a way to kick the habit.

Saying there are many questions, particularly about the safety of the products, the FDA proposed rules.

At Thanks for Vaping, owner Randy Sterling was relieved when he found out what the long-awaited proposal would be. He already bans sales to minors and labels products about the addiction of nicotine.

"What I was relieved about is there will be no restrictions on flavors," Sterling said.

Flavors like bubble gum, cotton candy and cherry have been of concern to critics and public health officials because of their attractiveness to children.

But Sterling says it's adults, not children, who are interested in the fruity flavors.

"If it helps them transition or be a good alternative to smoking a burning cigarette and it takes a flavor other than tobacco or menthol, that is really important," he said.

The FDA rules are not final. Public comments will be taken for 75 days. 


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