US authorities unveiled a broad set of rules on e-cigarettes and cigars, prohibiting their sale to minors and requiring makers of the products to get federal marketing authorization.
The action, announced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday, brings regulation of e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco and hookah tobacco in line with existing rules for traditional cigarettes, Reuters reported.
The new rules take effect in 90 days.
Under the new regime, companies will be required to submit e-cigarettes and other newer tobacco products for government approval, provide the FDA with a list of the product ingredients and place health warnings on packages and in advertisements.
Sylvia Burwell, US Secretary of Health and Human Services, called the rules a first step toward breaking the cycle of nicotine addiction among the youth.
“Millions of kids are being introduced to nicotine every year, a new generation hooked on a highly addictive chemical,” she said.
E-cigarettes are handheld electronic devices that vaporize a fluid typically including nicotine and a flavor component.
“Vaping” has become an alarming trend in recent years. According to the FDA, about 16 percent of high school students used e-cigarettes in 2015.
Under the new rules, the FDA will require age verification by photo identification, ban sales from vending machines except in adults-only locations and stop the distribution of free product samples.
Health advocacy groups hailed the move, while industry officials said the regulations could hurt smaller companies due to the costs involved in the regulatory process.
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