FDA Pushing For Regulations Making It Harder To Buy E-Cigarettes

DUNDALK, Md. (WJZ) — Despite new health warnings, some smokers see more benefits than risks to electronic cigarettes.

Alex DeMetrick has more on the fallout from the Food and Drug Administration’s health warnings.

Smokeless products like e-cigarettes are closer to being regulated by the federal government. But some who sell them already have rules in place.

At NettMix Custom Vapes in Dundalk, electronic cigarettes practically sell themselves to those looking for an alternative to lighting up a traditional cigarette.

“Like me, myself, I smoked four and a half packs a day for 20 years. I haven’t smoked in a year now,” said Vince Shaffer, NettMix Custom Vapes manager.

“I feel like I’m smoking, but I just cut out all the bad stuff,” said Nett Shaffer,NettMix Custom Vapes owner.

What is inhaled is a vapor that is heated up by a battery. The fluid can be flavored and run from 24 grams of nicotine to zero grams, allowing some to taper off the most addictive element of tobacco.

“As far as my health, my lungs, I’ve improved 100 percent. I have absolutely no health concerns,” Nett Shaffer said.

But the Food and Drug Administration does.

“We need to understand a lot more about how they’re being used and what are the risks and potential benefits,” said Dr. Margaret Hamburg, FDA commissioner.

Until then, the FDA is pushing for regulations that would make it harder for those under 18 to buy and smoke e-cigarettes.

“We’re really worried that these things are being marketed to kids,” said Dr. Kevin Cullen, University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center.

Cullen is an oncologist who says the nicotine from tobacco is what goes into e-cigarettes.

“Very worrisome that we’re going to push these kids toward not just nicotine addiction, but pushing them in the direction of tobacco addiction,” he said.

That focus on kids getting hooked is also an issue for the owner of NettMix Custom Vapes.

No I.D., no sale–just like the state law on tobacco sales, which the FDA is now pushing to make a federal law.

Among the research the FDA would like to see is a comprehensive study on e-cigarettes being conducted by the University of Maryland.

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