|April 30, 2014|
Previously published on April 25, 2014
On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration proposed new rules that will cover electronic cigarettes, more commonly known as e-cigarettes.
These new regulations will impact not only e-cigarettes, but cover pipe tobacco and cigars, products that have, up until now, been largely unregulated by the FDA. The new regulations would ban the sale of e-cigarettes, cigars and pipe tobacco to Americans under 18, and would require that people buying them show photo identification to prove their age, measures already mandated in a number of states.
Interestingly enough, the tobacco companies haven’t opposed all new regulations. Indeed, as tobacco companies jockey to expand their e-cigarette business, they're using an updated lobbying playbook that drops opposition to regulations and embraces the prohibition of sales to minors, industry lobbyists say.
While it might sound counterintuitive for a company to embrace regulations, it may help the bottom line by protecting existing markets.
"Essentially this is a big victory for the big tobacco companies," said Boston University School of Public Health professor Michael Siegel, speaking of tobacco regulation. "They can claim correctly that they comply with FDA standards. And it also detracts Congress from passing real regulation that would deal with tobacco."