FDA Mulls Banning Internet Sale Of E-Cigarettes

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is inching closer to regulating the burgeoning electronic cigarette industry, with the latest indication coming in the form of talks with E-cig companies about potentially banning outright the online sale of the devices, even as their popularity continues to climb.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the FDA has been meeting with manufacturers to receive input on whether, and how, it should begin regulating the industry. The agency is expected to reveal its regulatory plans in October.

The talks, which were sought by E-cig executives, included the online ban proposal as a means of potentially preventing minors from buying the devices – many of which contain nicotine or vaporize (but do not combust) actual tobacco. A proposal to establish a minimum age of purchase at the Federal level is also being discussed.

It’s in the business interest of traditional tobacco product manufacturers to bring the power of government to E-cigarette makers’ doorstep. A Wells Fargo analyst told the newspaper that the industry, which expects to earn $1 billion in revenue this year, could see it profits jump to $10 billion within five years.

New FDA Center for Tobacco Products director Mitch Zeller said any announcement of proposed regulations would be followed by a period of time during which the public and industry advocates could provide feedback that ultimately could refine any final FDA policies. But, he added, the question of whether the FDA is getting involved in regulating the electronic cigarette market is now a question of when – not if.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • JimH

    What the real concern is how can we tax(regulate) it.
    Fed, state and counties tax tobacco. If people switch to the E-cigarette, that is lost tax money.
    Oh wait, it’s to protect minors from themselves. Right.

    • melatr7

      You hit the proverbial nail on the proverbial head!! LOL

  • NObama_Holder_Reid_Pelosi_2012

    Thats exactly the point JimH, Government sees a money maker and finds a way to get “their fair share” off of other people’s creations and work. It an American tradition.

  • Chris

    “the question of whether the FDA is getting involved in regulating the electronic cigarette market is now a question of when – not if.”
    Yeah FDA……..regulate the market on THIS, but give your BLESSINGS to GMO foods poisoning us all.

  • IsThisAmerica

    I will smoke my e-cigarette anywhere I please. It’s vapor not SMOKE! Get over it.

  • jimzimmerman

    The FDA couldn’t give a Flock about the children buying the E cigs. It
    is all about MONEY. Tobacco lobbyists are crawling all over their
    politicians to block these sales because the cigarette industry see’s
    profits plummeting if people/children stop getting ADDICTED to their
    products. At 5-8 dollars a pack for cigarets per day Vs 10-15 dollars
    per Month for an Ecig. There is much money to lose in BOTH sales and
    Taxation.. But hey lets do it for the children. Cant have the little
    tykes smoking an ecig when we can addict them to OUR REAL tobacco. What a
    joke.

    • marbee

      It’s not even the tobacco lobbyists, it’s the anti-smoking brigade. If everyone smoked e-cigs, they’d all be out of a job. I remember some lawmaker proposing to ban tobacco altogether and I believe it was the American Cancer Society or one of their arms went crazy! Just think of all the free grant money they’d lose!

      • marbee

        It is a sad day when the public loses faith in scientific research. They produce for dollars and phony health scares. I do not think there is a scientist who is not ashamed of the work they are forced to do. A warning, whether it be terror, epidemic or health threat needs to be few and far between. Crying threats all day every day is making the public numb.

    • marbee

      It’s not even the tobacco lobbyists, it’s the anti-smoking brigade. If everyone smoked e-cigs, they’d all be out of a job. I remember some lawmaker proposing to ban tobacco altogether and I believe it was the American Cancer Society or one of their arms went crazy! Just think of all the free grant money they’d lose!

  • Quester55

    GREED for Greed’s Sake, They got your Money if you choose to Smoke As they do if you choose not to smoke!
    When The Dear Lord Healed me of my Smoking Habit, There where NO STRINGS ATTACHED, Yet the Anti-Smoking Aids, where Far worse than the Tobacco itself, In the COST of those GREEDY Products!
    Besides, I don’t know of too many Children that have $99.99 + to spend on Non-smoking Electronic Aluminum tubes
    IF the FDA Really wants to do our Children a Favor, Put an 400% Tax on BEER like they did on TOBACCO!

  • Tony B

    This will only drive people to order from China. They can’t ban batteries and “flashlights”. The only thing they can really mess with is the availability of nicotine… but then it’s a slippery slope into calling it a “controlled substance” which cigarettes would also fall under. Let’s ban the healthier alternative, while letting regular cigarettes continue on their poisonous path is not the answer.

  • Richard Einstein

    Leave it to the government to destroy our freedom in the name of protecting us.

  • Robert Messmer

    If the FDA really wanted to protect “the children” or even just the public, it should stop approving drugs, medical devices, and procedures that kill people every day. It is laughable whenever someone brings up alternative medication or therapy that a stock reply is that “but that’s not approved by the FDA” We have cable television and we can not get through a single 24 hour time period without one or more ads concerning “your right to be compensated” for damages from some FDA approved drug, device, or procedure.

  • Chris

    How about putting a Nicotine patch on each pack of cigarettes that a person may buy,and give the buyer a choice to smoke or not to smoke. This could also be tried with the E-cigarette as well(and if the Goverment,and tobbacco companies really wanted people to stop smoking,they would do this without any additional cost to the buyer!!!!

  • DalasKnight

    Hey….FDA! You don’t have the right to regulate a non-drug or food product!!!!

  • DalasKnight

    Hey….FDA! You don’t have the right to regulate a non-drug or food product!!!!