Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

FDA Takes More Steps to Keep Kids off Tobacco Products

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

FDA Takes More Steps to Keep Kids off Tobacco Products

Article excerpt

NEW REGULATIONS from the Food and Drug Administration ban the sale of all tobacco products --including e-cigarettes--to minors.

The final rule announced extends FDA regulatory authority to e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah tobacco, pipe tobacco, and other similar products. Before this action, the FDA regulated cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco under the Tobacco Control Act of 2009.

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The new regulations require manufacturers of all newly regulated products to show that their products meet applicable public health standards and that makers receive marketing authorization from the FDA. The agency now has the authority to evaluate ingredients, product design, and health risks of these products.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said the move was critical to improve public health and protect future generations from the dangers of tobacco.

"As cigarette smoking among those under 18 has fallen, the use of other nicotine products, including e-cigarettes, has taken a drastic leap," Secretary Burwell said in a statement. "All of this is creating a new generation of Americans who are at risk of addiction. Today's announcement is an important step in the fight for a tobacco-free generation - it will help us catch up with changes in the marketplace, put into place rules that protect our kids and give adults information they need to make informed decisions."

Before the rule, no federal law prohibited stores and websites from selling e-cigarettes, hookah tobacco, and cigars to minors, according to an FDA fact sheet. The new rule aims to deter youth access to the products by barring sales to people under 18, requiring age verification of purchasers, preventing the selling of covered tobacco products in vending machines, and prohibiting the distribution of free samples.

In addition, manufacturers, importers, and retailers of newly regulated tobacco products must follow provisions, such as registering their manufacturing establishments and providing product listings to the FDA, reporting ingredients and potentially harmful constituents to the agency, and placing health warnings on packages and advertisements, among other guidelines. Manufacturers of newly regulated products must meet the applicable public health standards, unless the product was on the market as of Feb. 15, 2007. …

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