E-cigarettes, Hookah, Nicotine Gel Come Under Purview of FDA

Health In Focus   - G J E 4
  • Tobacco products like cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless tobacco were already being regulated by the FDA
  • Other products like e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah tobacco, pipe tobacco and nicotine gels will also be monitored according to a new rule
  • The new rule will be effective from August 8, 2016
The Food and Drug Administration has expanded its realm to include tobacco products that were previously not under its purview. The new rule that will come into force on August 8, 2016 will include products like electronic nicotine delivery systems (such as e-cigarettes and vape pens), all cigars, hookah tobacco, pipe tobacco and nicotine gels under the regulation of the FDA.
E-cigarettes, Hookah, Nicotine Gel Come Under Purview of FDA
E-cigarettes, Hookah, Nicotine Gel Come Under Purview of FDA

Tobacco smoking is the main cause of lung cancer. Several newer preparations of tobacco claim that they are less harmful than their predecessors. Such products also contain nicotine and cannot be considered as safe. They are also addictive.

‘E-cigarettes, hookah, cigars, pipe tobacco and nicotine gels are included in the new watch list of the FDA.’
Some tobacco products like cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless tobacco are already being regulated by the FDA. Smokeless tobacco products include snuff which is sniffed through the nose and dipping tobacco, which is placed in the mouth between the lip and gum.

Some of the tobacco products which will come under the purview of the FDA according to the new rule are:
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems Like E-cigarettes and Vape Pens: Electronic nicotine delivery systems are battery-operated cigarettes that contain liquid nicotine. The nicotine is vaporized when heated and is inhaled. The flavors of e-cigarettes make them particularly attractive to youth.
  • Cigars were popular before the appearance of cigarettes. They consist of dried and fermented tobacco leaf tightly rolled in a bundle. Flavored cigars like cigarillos and little cigars are becoming popular among youngsters.
  • Hookah Tobacco: Hookah is an age-old practice of smoking tobacco that was common in the Middle East and is gaining popularity among youngsters. The smoke from tobacco passes through water before it is inhaled. Tobacco smoked in this way is much stronger than from regular cigarettes.
  • Pipe Tobacco: Pipe smoking, yet another traditional form of smoking, involves the use of a pipe with a chamber where tobacco is placed. The smoke passes through a narrow tube into the mouth.
  • Nicotine Gels are applied to the skin, through which nicotine is absorbed.
With the new rule, the FDA will have the ability to evaluate the contents of these products and review newer products being released into the market. It will also be able to increase awareness on the risks of these products and dispel any false claims made by manufacturers. Manufacturers will be compelled to follow the requirements laid down by the FDA regarding these products. They will not be allowed to sell these products to those under 18 years of age or through vending machines unless in an adult-only facility, or distribute free samples. Buyers will need to produce photo ID as age proof before purchase. These new rules will hopefully reduce the use of these products at least among youngsters.

Some of the regulations on tobacco that are followed in India are:
  • Smoking in public places is banned. The sign indicating a no-smoking area should be prominently displayed
  • Cigarette packages require a statuary warning along with pictorial depictions regarding the injurious potential of cigarettes. The size of the pictorial warning has been recently increased to 85% of the cigarette packet
  • Advertisements of tobacco products are banned
  • A warning scroll of - Cigarette smoking is injurious to health - has to be displayed during the screening of films or television programs that contain scenes in which the actors smoke
  • Sale of tobacco products to those below the age of 18 years is banned
  • Sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of all educational institutions is banned
  1. Extending Authorities to All Tobacco Products, Including E-Cigarettes, Cigars, and Hookah
Source: Medindia

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