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FDA Proposes New Rules to Regulate E-Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products

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April 25, 2014

AARC was represented on a conference call on April 24 in which the FDA announced its proposal to “deem” all categories of products that meet the statutory definition of “tobacco product” to be subject to FDA’s regulatory authority under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

Anne Marie Hummel, AARC’s Regulatory Director, participated in the call where FDA explained that the “deeming” authority proposes to add e-cigarettes, pipes, cigars, nicotine gels, dissolvable products and waterpipe smoking (also known as hookah, shisha and narghile) to the list of products subject to FDA’s regulatory authority. Currently FDA regulates cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco. Accessories such as hookah tongs, bags, charcoal burners, cigar foil cutters and other such items that are not used to consume a deemed tobacco product would not be subject to the proposed rule. FDA will allow a 75-day comment period and is seeking specific input on several proposed options as well as comments on the overall proposal.

“This is something the AARC would stand behind,” said George Gaebler. “We believe this proposal to expand FDA’s regulatory authority over tobacco products is an important step in protecting the public’s health, especially in light of the recent Surgeon General’s report on “The Health Consequence of Smoking—50 Years of Progress.”

As a member of the Tobacco Partners Coalition, spearheaded by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society, AARC looks forward reviewing and providing comments on this significant proposal.