37 state attorneys general seek FDA regulation of e-cigarettes

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September 25, 2013

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By Greg Janetka

In a broad, bipartisan move, 37 state attorneys general sent a letter to Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, asking the agency "to take all available measures" to regulate the advertising, ingredients and sale of e-cigarettes.[1]

The letter, co-sponsored by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine (R), was especially aimed towards youth, as Coakley stated, "People, especially kids, are being led to believe that e-cigarettes are a safe alternative, but they are highly addictive and can deliver strong doses of nicotine. We urge the FDA to act quickly to ensure that these products are regulated to protect the public, and are no longer advertised or sold to youth."[2]

The FDA has had authority to regulate cigarettes, cigarette tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco since 2009, but currently does not regulate pipe tobacco, cigars or e-cigarettes. Under the law, the FDA can expand their authority into these products, but first must issue new regulations, something it says are in development.[3]

Alongside Massachusetts and Ohio, attorneys general from the following states signed the letter: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming. They were also joined by the attorneys general of Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.[4]

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