On April 25th, 2011 in a press release posted on the FDA’s website, the FDA finally acknowledged what the courts told them on multiple occasions; the electronic cigarette is not a medical device or new drug, but rather a tobacco product.  In the press release they are clear that absent any therapeutic claims such as the ability to help smokers quit smoking, the e-cigarette is indeed a tobacco product.  What is not clear is what regulations will be imposed.

Many e-cigarette advocates hail this news as a win for the electronic cigarette as well as for proponents of the reduced harm philosophy.  And although we agree this was a necessary step towards the end goal, the question still remains of how exactly the FDA will treat the e-cigarette.  Too many regulations with high market entry costs may stifle the market and give the advantage to traditional tobacco cigarettes.  Not enough regulations could mean a negative perception of the technology in general.

What is important is not that the FDA realizes that it didn’t have a choice in the categorization of the smokeless cigarette, but rather what it does next.  The courts had already decided the relative category of the product.  What the courts didn’t say (and won’t) is what regulations will be in play.

We hope the FDA takes a thoroughly scientific approach to e-cigarette regulation.  With politics and lobbying left behind, the e-cigarette should be able to compete fairly on the market with tobacco cigarettes…..which as we have mention before kills more people each year than  AIDS, cocaine, heroin, alcohol, vehicular accidents, homicide and suicide combined.  We also hope that the FDA does not squash an otherwise thriving small American industry.  Yes, much of the components and e-liquid is made overseas (although our most popular e-liquid is made in the USA but the suppliers are small American businesses that utilize many other American companies in support of their business.  And with such a new technology product, the continuation of development and product innovation will only be possible through fair and open market competition.

So we appreciate the FDA acknowledging what the courts have told them and are hopeful that their regulation is what is best for public health and the entire e-cigarette industry.

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9 Responses to FDA Says It Will Regulate E-Cigarettes As Tobacco Products

  1. Sandra Smith says:

    I got my e cigarette starter kit a month ago with e nicotine and some non-nicotine flavours to try. I have learned that I can’t get e nicotine because it is considered a drug in Canada. I am very disapponted as I haven’t been tempted to smoke regular cigarettes since I have had this product and saw myself reducing my nicotine need at my own speed happily. I have been smoking since I was 16 and am now 51, quitting over the years with all the crazy products available and still with much struggle and always back to the monster cigarette with all its shame no matter how few I would smoke a day. Using the vaporized cigarette has shown a remarkable difference in my health, of course all the claims that people give when they actually do quit, except that the nagging addiction control is gone! I know people dead and alive who said and will say though they have quit for years still have the addiction to live with. I am hoping that I will be able to buy nicotine juice here in Canada to regulate my own decreasing use of it. Perhaps there is non nicotine flavours that might mimic nicotine that I might learn about to use to help me –
    Sign me off with White Teeth & no more cigarette butts in the landfill!

  2. Angela Beckwith says:

    I bought the electronic cigarette as an alternative to smoking the tobacco ones. I feel better and I still get to enjoy the habit of “smoking” without the worries of cancer or all the other health problems that come from smoking tobacco. I wish these had been around before my grandpa died of lung cancer.

  3. A. Cook says:

    Two months ago I was a 2-pack a day smoker. I started on my e-cig with the idea that I might be able to cut back. The cost and the persecution by the taxation (what I consider to be un lawful), I needed to find a better way. I have tried to quit many times; cold turkey, patches, medications, even hypnosis. The only thing that happened was frustration, bad temper, snapping at my family, and actual physical pain.
    Three weeks ago I wound up in the hospital(nothing smoking-related…sorry all of you ‘holier-than-thous’) If it had not been for my e-cig, they would have had to keep me sedated for th entire time I was there. My Head Nurse wanted to get a Doctor’s OK for me to use it because it contains nicotine, but that was OK, too. In fact, I had three Dr.s who were happy to see me using it and even commended me for it.
    When I went in for my follow-up visit with one of my Neurologists, he asked me if I was still using it, he was thrilled when I reached down and pulled it out of my purse. He even smiled and commented that it was PINK.
    The regulations that concern me are when “they” tell us we can’t use them or when “they” start taxing then beyond all fairness. (…but we all know “they” will). The only regs I would like to see is age control and purity of solutions. Otherwise, stop trying to CONTROL full grown adults.

  4. John D says:

    I’ve been smoking since I was around 12 years old – now 56. I’ve quit smoking cold turkey a few times; but, always came back. Now after another year of smoking, I finally found out about e-cigs – I have not purchased another pack of tobacco cigarettes since – 4 weeks now. To be honest, I did smoke a real cigarette last evening – the exact brand I usually smoke. I found that it smelled horrible, tasted weak and left me wanting my e-cig. I have little interest in going back to tobacco cigarettes. I seriously hope the tobacco lobby doesn’t win this battle.

  5. John says:

    There are non-nicotine e-liquids that are for those who eventually want to cut off the nicotine completely. That’s a great advantage! I agree that FDA should really have a scientific approach on e-cigarette regulation for the benefit of people wanting an alternative to tobacco smoking.

  6. Annya says:

    I just cant understand why Feds can’t leave people choose what to do on their own. My dad uses an e-cig and feels much better, that’s the best proof they are working for me

  7. [...] took until is was challenged in court.  The US court determined that absent any health claims, the electronic cigarette with nicotine is a tobacco product.  So what is the [...]

  8. eric says:

    The FDA’s claim is not correct, in my opinion. E-liquid is not a tobacco product. It’s a nicotine and propylene glycol product.

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