Regulatory framework for e-cigarettes on the anvil

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reportedly in talks with the e-cigarette industry on the possibility of an online-sales ban of the product.

The talks are meant to provide the regulator with inputs as it is in the process of preparing rules and regulations for the e-cigarette industry.

While there have been several delays in issuing these strictures, the FDA purportedly will unveil the regulations in October 2013. Prior to that, proposals will be divulged and public comments will be solicited.

The agenda
The agency has arranged conference calls and numerous meetings with the industry. The project is being carried out under the supervision of Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products.

Among other aspects, a ban on the online sales of e-cigarettes is being contemplated. The move, experts aver, will keep the product out of the reach of minors.

Another agenda is to lay the standards for print, television and radio advertising for the product.

The health risks associated with e-cigarettes are still a subject matter of debate. As of now, there is no conclusive evident on the matter.

“It is true that more research is needed on the health effects of e-cigarettes. However, we do not need more research on whether e-cigarettes should or should not be included in proposed FDA regulations,” averred Zeller.

Popularity of e-cigarette industry increasing
The electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) uses a battery-operated nicotine-vaporizing technology and is meant to simulate tobacco smoking.

Aimed to mimic traditional smoking, some e-cigarettes do not release nicotine and release merely a flavored vapor.

The e-cigarette industry has seen tremendous growth in the US and is likely to clock $1 billion of revenue in 2013. Experts predict that sales could surge to the $10 billion mark in 5 years.

Since the traditional tobacco industry is highly regulated and heavily taxed, consumers have shifted to e-cigarettes.

As on date the e-cigarette industry poses a real threat to the traditional tobacco industry.