A federal appeals court has ruled that e-cigarettes, which first appeared on the marked in 2002, should be regulated by the FDA as tobacco products, rather than as drug-delivery devices (nicotine patch, gum), which have stricter requirements.
The ruling means their makers won't have to conduct expensive clinical trials to prove to the FDA that the products are safe and effective as a stop-smoking aid.
This decision, by a 3-judge panel in Washington, is described as a major set-back for the Food and Drug Administration along with other public health organizations because of the dangerous chemicals that are still found in the e-cig, as well as concerns of the product being marketed to children.
E-cigarettes are plastic or metal devices that heat liquid nicotine solution inside to create a vapor that the user inhales.
Makers of the product say they help quitters by addressing both the nicotine addiction and the behavioral addiction of holding something and puffing, without inhaling any of the 4,000 chemicals found in regular cigarettes.
While makers of these smokeless cigarettes are thrilled with the ruling, proponents such as Matthew L. Myers, the president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, says:
"any manufacturer to put any level of nicotine in any product and sell it to anybody, including children, with no government regulation or oversight at the present time."
American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown goes one step further, saying:
"There is no scientific evidence that e-cigarettes are effective smoking cessation devices and, until they undergo rigorous evaluation by the Food and Drug Administration, they should be pulled from the marketplace."
What do U think? Are these smokeless cigarettes as dangerous as the real ones or are they a great product to assist quitters?
[Image via AP Images.]
Tags: addiction, body, cigarette, court, health, nicotine, smokeless, smoking, tobacco