FDA bans sale of e-cigarettes, other tobacco products to minors


Photo: Marccophoto/iStockphoto

Silver Spring, MD – A Food and Drug Administration final rule, announced May 5, bans the sale of all tobacco products – including electronic cigarettes, hookahs and cigars – to anyone younger than 18.

E-cigarette use among high school students has increased to 16 percent in 2015 from 1.5 percent in 2011, according to the results of a survey conducted by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention About 3 million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in 2015.

The rule also:

  • Requires buyers to verify their age by showing a photo ID
  • Forbids the sale of covered tobacco products in vending machines, unless the machine is in an adult-only facility
  • Bans the distribution of free samples
  • Requires manufacturers of tobacco products on the market since Feb. 15, 2007, to show that the products follow the rule’s public health standard, and to obtain marketing authorization from the FDA
  • Mandates that manufacturers report ingredients and potentially harmful parts
  • Requires health warnings to be placed on packages and advertisements

The final rule will help the FDA put an end to “misleading claims” made by manufacturers regarding the products, examine ingredients in the products and share information about potential risks, the agency states in a press release.

The FDA calls tobacco use “a significant public health threat” that results in 480,000 deaths every year.

“As cigarette smoking among those under 18 has fallen, the use of other nicotine products, including e-cigarettes, has taken a drastic leap,” Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said in the release. “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.”

The rule is scheduled to go into effect Aug. 8.

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