A US Senator has urged Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulators to pull "electronic cigarettes" from the market until the battery-powered devices are tested and proven safe.
The products, also known as "e-cigarettes," release a nicotine vapor into the lungs and are sold as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes that can even help smokers quit their habit.
And amid a growing nationwide push to ban indoor smoking, some e-cigarette manufacturers have been selling their product as legal to use in restaurants, bars, shopping malls and airplanes.
But Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg wrote the FDA Monday warning that there have been no clinical studies verifying such claims or assessing their long-term health effects.
"For these reasons, I believe the FDA must take immediate action to take these products off the market" until they can be tested, the New Jersey senator said in his letter.