JACKSONVILLE, fla. - It's a market that's soared in popularity since it launched in 2010. Now e-cigarette sales are predicted to surpass regular cigarette sales within the next decade.
The Food and Drug Administration is announcing new rules that require e-cigarette manufacturers to disclose their ingredients, along with warning labels on their products about the health risks.
These new rules require the manufactures of e-cigarettes to first seek federal approval, and they also ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.
Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, but far less is known about the health effects of e-cigarettes. Exactly how was the product made, and precisely where do the ingredients come from? They're questions, the FDA plans on answering.
"It's been four years of zero regulation for this industry which is not a good thing if you're looking for growth or consistency and reliability for any particular category," said Ray Story, of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Association.
Story said the new federal regulations legitimize the e-cigarette industry. Story said four years ago, e-cigarettes were viewed as device used to smoke illegal drugs. He said the FDA's restrictions put new pressure on manufacturers.
"They're going to have provide a manufacturing standards, how the product was made, where it was made they're going to have to have safety packaging, age verification, face to face as well as online," said Story.
Lynette Kennisson with Tobacco-Free Jacksonville Coalition, says there's a perception among e-cigarette smokers, that they can help fight the addiction to regular cigarettes. She hopes the FDA's rules will uncover the truth.
"Certainly people say using e-cigarettes is a cigarette cessation tool. Well, that certainly is a health claim and companies should not make health claims without substantial research behind it," said Kennison.
We spoke with The owner the New Leaf Vapor company is still reviewing the 240-page release from the government. "Responsible regulation is welcomed to the point that it not limit the accessibility of effective products for adult smokers. Over regulation would be a step back for public health," said Ben Hughlett.
A former e-cigarette smoker points out that tobacco's harmful regardless of how you inhale it.
"To be honest we should be moving away from cigarettes and not supplementing cigarettes," said Rodney Carrier, a Jacksonville University student.
The FDA is also looking to control pipe tobaccos, cigars and hookahs.
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