FDA cracks down on e-cigarettes, invites the ire of vapers

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

First they came for the vapers, and I said nothing.

The Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday it was broadening its definition of what constitutes a tobacco product to include e-cigarettes.


When the regulation goes into effect, it will require e-cigarette sales to be restricted to those older than 18, the same as smokeless tobacco and regular cigarettes. Other restrictions include requiring a photo ID for purchases and prohibiting free samples and vending machine sales.

The rule change also includes other tobacco-related products like hookahs, pipes and cigars, but the e-cigarette inclusion is what drew the most attention.

While some studies suggest switching to e-cigarettes can help reduce unhealthy side-effects in regular cigarette smokers, other research points out that e-cigarettes aren't very effective in getting people to quit smoking.

But the FDA seems less concerned about adults trying to quit smoking and more worried about teenagers who are getting into vaping. A survey released last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found e-cigarette use tripled among middle and high school students last year.

"This final rule is a foundational step that enables the FDA to regulate products young people were using at alarming rates, like e-cigarettes, cigars, and hookah tobacco, that had gone largely unregulated,” Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, said in a statement.

Pro-vaping conservative lobbyist Grover Norquist was less excited about the news.


So forget about Trump. This election will be decided by the vapers.