Thursday, February 28, 2013

Rising e-cigarette sales spur call for regulations

The Hill
Washington DC
by Megan R. Wilson
February 28, 2013

An anti-smoking group is renewing pressure on federal regulators to examine the safety of electronic cigarettes.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network wants the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate how the devices work, what ingredients they contain and the potential effects they could have on users.

The request comes after the release of a study by the Centers for Disease Control that found adult use of e-cigarettes increased by 88 percent from 2010 to 2011, to a total of 6 percent. Use by current smokers “more than doubled” during that period, to 21.2 percent.

Chris Hansen, the president of American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, said the increase “adds even more urgency to the need for the FDA to regulate these products.”

In January, The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) filed a petition with the White House to oppose the FDA’s regulatory efforts.

“The FDA should not propose or approve any regulation that would deny cigarette smokers legal or affordable access to less hazardous smoke-free alternatives,” Bill Godshall, an adviser with the CASAA, wrote in the petition. This month, the measure gained more than the necessary amount of signatures to warrant a reply from the White House.

“E-cigarettes and associated accessories and liquids are less hazardous than cigarettes and can reduce the risks of smoking. With the use of these devices millions have successfully reduced the use of cigarettes. Don't let the FDA deny us access to these alternatives to smoking,” the petition says.

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