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FDA Proposed New Regulations Over E-Cigarettes

The FDA may expand legislation over new tobacco and smokeless tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes and nicotine gels.
The FDA may expand legislation over new tobacco and smokeless tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes and nicotine gels.

If passed, the regulations would require manufacturers to report exactly what is in their products, and make electronic cigarettes off-limits to people under 18.

The use of electronic cigarettes, or "vaping", increased in popularity within the past decade and is now a billion dollar industry. Currently, it's not regulated by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Create-a-Cig Employee, Raymond Affleck says "vaping" is safer and healthier compared to smoking cigarettes.

"I understand where you're coming from like 'I don't know what's in that bottle', but at the same time you know we're more than happy to educate people because that's what this is, a learning curve," Affleck said.

In 2009, Congress authorized the FDA to regulate tobacco products, but this did not include e-cigarettes. Recently, the FDA made a proposal to extend their authority.

"With the FDA getting involved we're actually going to have them pre-bottled, which is I think going to help out a lot. I mean if anything, it's going to take away from us having to constantly mix in the store, so kinds of speed up the customer getting in and out," Affleck said.

Once finalized the new regulations would do away with personal in-store mixing. A 'Cali Fruit' at Create-a-Cig in San Angelo would be the exact same at all locations.

Justin Boykin started using e-cigarettes a few weeks ago and says as a customer he would not prefer the new regulations.

"It's worse because there's no personability with it, you can't personalize what you want," Boykin said.

Affleck says cigarettes can contain up to 4,000 chemicals, but there's only three in e-cigarettes including nicotine which will only be added upon request.

"They're both food materials. You can find them in donuts and pastries and everything like that, so it's not something that people are not really known to," Affleck said.

Affleck says the purpose of e-cigarettes are to convert smokers.

"The goal is for everybody to get down to zero. To where you're just completely nicotine free and eventually set the device down and never touch it again," Affleck said.

These proposals are just the start of a lengthy process that can take months or even years.

The FDA must consider the comments from the public and the electronic cigarette industry before it enacts a final rule.

*The current San Angelo city ordinance prohibits smoking in most public places where a non-smoking sign is posted; this includes the use of electronic cigarettes.
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