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FDA Regulations for Sales to Minors in Effect as of August 8

Original story by Dennis Thompson, HealthDay – August 8, 2016, 11:08 AM

The sale of electronic cigarettes to minors are banned nationwide as of this past Monday, August 8, 2016. This mandate is part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) long-overdue plan to extend the agency’s regulatory powers over all tobacco products. The new rule ensures electronic cigarettes and any other tobacco product (including hookah, cigars, and pipe tobacco) are not being sold to anyone younger than 18. The regulations also require photo IDs to buy e-cigarettes, and bans retailers from handing out free samples or selling them in all-ages vending machines.

Youth_Brain Development


Although Kansas has prohibited the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors since 2013, the state has not specified hookah as a tobacco product. Likewise, the City of Wichita’s youth access ordinance–which gives authority to the City’s Tobacco program to check retailers for compliance with sales restrictions to minors–includes tobacco products but does not currently allow for compliance checks for electronic cigarette or hookah retailers. TFW is anxious to help ensure these policy gaps are remedied in the near future.

Electronic cigarettes are battery-operated devices designed to create an aerosol that delivers nicotine, flavor and other chemicals when inhaled by the user. Manufacturers have marketed the products as a way to help smokers quit cigarettes, although these statements have not been verified by the FDA or trustworthy research studies. In addition to the youth access regulations, the new ruling forbids electronic cigarette manufacturers from promoting their products as a “healthier alternative to smoking”, until strong scientific evidence is provided to the FDA that supports the claim.

Tobacco control and other public health groups contend that electronic cigarettes actually encourage people — especially teens — to pick up the smoking habit. “Youth use e-cigarettes more than any other tobacco product on the market today, serving as an entry point to more traditional tobacco products,” Harold Wimmer, national president and CEO of the American Lung Association, said in May.

A recent survey of approximately 300 high school students discovered that teens in the United States who use electronic cigarettes are six times more likely to move on to traditional cigarettes compared to kids who never use the devices.  “The increase in electronic cigarette use, which may be followed by increases in cigarette use, could result in an erosion of the progress that has been made over the last several decades in tobacco control,” she added. This increase is amplified by the tobacco industry’s billion-dollar annual advertising budget, which targets ads at youth and other vulnerable populations.

Youth_Advertising_Ecig 2014

Until now, electronic cigarettes and other alternative tobacco products have gone unregulated by the FDA. Manufacturers are now required to submit new and existing products to the FDA for review and evaluation, unless the product was sold prior to Feb. 15, 2007. It is estimated that 99% of all electronic cigarette and “vaping” products that are now on the market will have to be submitted for review. The FDA anticipates that existing brands will have at least three more regulation-free years on the market — two of which allows manufacturers to prepare their product application and another year for FDA review.

For the full story, click HERE.

U.S. House Appropriations Committee Puts Tobacco Industry Before Health

Stakeholder groups strongly oppose a $110 million funding cut to the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health (OSH), as presented in the FY 2017 House Appropriations bill.

In a July 12 Letter to leaders of the House Appropriations Committee, (spearheaded by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids) 47 organizations called on legislators to restore that funding and allocate at least $210 million — the same amount Congress enacted for FY 2016 — to the OSH.”[This work] is critical to ending the tobacco epidemic that takes far too many lives and exacts an enormous financial toll on the nation’s economy,” the groups explain.

first-cigarette500Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ President Matthew Myers also added in July 13 Press Release, “This funding cut makes no sense given the proven effectiveness of the CDC’s tobacco prevention and cessation programs and tobacco’s terrible toll in health, lives and health care dollars. It serves only the interests of the tobacco industry.” The July 12 letter adds, “Cuts to OSH funding would lead to more young people using tobacco products, fewer adult tobacco users quitting, more people with tobacco-caused diseases, more premature deaths and higher future health care costs for treating tobacco-caused disease,”.


How could cuts to OSH effect Tobacco Free Wichita Coalition?

  1. OSH provides funding and technical assistance to state health departments to help them maintain and enhance tobacco prevention and cessation programs at the state and community levels. 
  2. Essential OSH research programs on the prevalence of tobacco use are in jeopardy. This research is used to alert policymakers about related trends, such as the recent dramatic rise in e-cigarette use among adolescentstips-terrie-cancer-voice-sm-700x700
  3. One of the most high-profile activities OSH funds is the national Tips From Former Smokers media campaign. During a period of just over two months in 2014, 1.8 million Americans who smoke were motivated by the campaign to make a quit attempt, and 104,000 smokers actually quit. According to the stakeholder letter, the House’s proposed funding cut “would make it virtually impossible for CDC to continue this vital campaign,”. 
  4.  OSH also provides a considerable amount to states each year for tobacco quitlines, which have been shown to “greatly increase the chances that a smoker will quit successfully, the groups state.

Fortunately, the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a bill that provides the current level of funding, $210 million, for the CDC’s tobacco control programs for FY 2017. TFW urges everyone to CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS and ask Congress to provide (at least) the current level of funding in final legislation.


August 01, 2016 04:02 pm  AAFP News Staff 

July 13, 2016 Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids


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