FDA attempts to regulate electronic cigarettes

RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif. - The Food and Drug Administration is making another attempt at regulating electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products.

On Thursday, the agency proposed rules that call for strict regulation of electronic cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, nicotine gels, water pipe tobacco and hookahs, CNN reported.

Currently, only cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco come under the FDA's regulatory authority.

When these recommendations are finalized following a 75-day public comment period, the age limit to buy the products is expected to be at least 18, although individual states could choose to set it higher.

Health warnings would also be required, and the sale of the products in vending machines would be prohibited. Initially, the only health warning required for e-cigarettes would be about the potential for addiction to nicotine.

In 2012, Riverside County banned the use of Electronic Cigarettes in county buildings.

The county's Board of Supervisors voted to amend its anti-smoking policy to include e-cigarettes. They are meant to stimulate the smoking experience while delivering a jolt of nicotine.

The county's health officer said there are still many unknowns surrounding the battery-operated products.

"The bottom line is that you're bringing in nicotine, so on that basis, yes, I would say they should be bunched together," said Dr. Cameron Kaiser.

Under the amended policy, smokers must go to designated smoking areas to use the devices. County employees who violate the policy could be subject to disciplinary action.

Read more about the FDA proposed regulations.

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