New federal regulations have given the FDA more control over vapor products. New guidelines state that all devices that electronic cigarettes must have government approval. In addition, merchants must ask for identification from all customers, and can’t give out free samples. Plus proposed restrictions would be apply to all cigars, nicotine gels, e-cigs, hookahs and similar products. Plus health warnings must also be applied to any packaging as with traditional cigarettes. And like combustible cigarettes, the sale of e-cigs will be banned from vending machines.
Gov. Brown recently signed into law five anti-tobacco bills that encompass vaping products and electronic cigarettes. Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco is a proponent of the law that redefines “tobacco products” to encompass vaping devices. The new law makes California the second state in the U.S. to raise the minimum legal age for buying vaping products to 21.
One of the motivations behind the bills is restricting tobacco access to minors. Health advocates claim that data shows if a person doesn’t use tobacco products before their mid-20s, they are less likely to use them in the future. Some merchants fear they may lose some business, but most believe their current customer base to be over 21. Despite the new rules, most merchants said the vaping industry could use more regulations.
Merchants in many states already have regulations of electronic cigarettes and other tobacco related products, and believe that any further FDA regulations are redundant and profit draining. In some states, laws already require e-cig users to be 18 year old to purchase electronic cigarettes, but not all states have age restrictions. This is one of the loop holes the FDA wants to change.
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