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August 8, 2016

New E-cigarette Regulations Begin

The FDA finalized a rule extending regulatory authority to cover all tobacco products, including vaporizers, vape pens, hookah pens, electronic cigarettes (E-Cigarettes), e-pipes, and all other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).

According to the FDA it now regulates the manufacture, import, packaging, labeling, advertising, promotion, sale, and distribution of ENDS. This includes components and parts of ENDS but excludes accessories.

ENDS uses liquid containing nicotine, as well as varying compositions of flavorings propylene glycol, glycerin, and other ingredients. The liquid is heated into an aerosol that the user inhales.

According to the FDA beginning August 8, 2016 retailers must:
  • Check photo ID of everyone under age 27 who attempts to purchase any tobacco product.
  • Only sell tobacco products to customers age 18 or older.
  • Do NOT sell tobacco products in a vending machine or self-service display unless in an adult-only facility.
  • Do NOT give away free samples of newly-regulated tobacco products, including any of their components or part

"The deeming regulations are a step in the right direction because they should make e-cigarettes less accessible to adolescents. Research in Hawai'i and elsewhere has shown that adolescents who use e-cigarettes are more likely to start smoking tobacco cigarettes. Thus restricting access by young persons has a sound rationale for improving public health and is likely to have positive consequences for adolescents. However at this time the FDA has not proposed any regulations about marketing of e-cigarettes," said Thomas Wills, PhD, the interim director of the UH Cancer Center's Prevention and Control Program.

"We know that advertising for cigarettes historically had a large impact on teenagers (the Virginia Slims campaign for girls and the Joe Camel ads for boys) and there is extensive marketing of e-cigarettes that can be viewed by younger audiences, so this is still a gap in the regulations."

Dr. Wills has done extensive research on e-cigarettes. He has been called upon for comment about ENDS' by many national news outlets including USA Today and The New York Times. Dr. Wills' research interests are in etiology and prevention studies of tobacco and alcohol use, with a focus on early adolescence. This research involves the application of theoretical models that include individual vulnerability characteristics, social processes, and environmental variables, and their interactions, to the onset of smoking and drinking.

The University of Hawai'i Cancer Center through its various activities, cancer trial patients and their guests, and other visitors adds more than $54 million to the O'ahu economy. This is equivalent to supporting 776 jobs. It is one of only 69 research institutions designated by the National Cancer Institute. Affiliated with the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, the center is dedicated to eliminating cancer through research, education, and improved patient care.
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