After many years of neglect, the U.S. food and drug administration has finally proposed a rule that would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18. In our humble opinion, this is something that should have been addressed years ago. This long-awaited proposal would be the first federal regulation of electronic cigarettes in the US.
This ruling will be a step towards broader restrictions in the US, after many years of a ‘wild west’ attitude, with no regulations at all. Other areas that will be looked at is the advertising of e-cigarettes and the flavoring options of e-cigarettes. Critics of the advertising of e-cigarettes state that it risks introducing young people to electronic cigarettes in the first place. Others believe that having appropriate warnings for electronic cigarettes — i.e. only for use by adults over the age of 18 on advertisements would be a much better option. Some have argued that the flavouring options; Cotton Candy, and fruit flavours for example, appeal to younger people and should therefore be banned. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said the current proposal “lays the foundation for many more actions and activities.“
How will this affect Canadians? Likely not too much in the foreseeable future. Health Canada is typically very slow and methodical to react to anything, and often waits to see how other countries decisions and actions effect their system before taking any action. Health Canada’s response to the US restriction for sale to minors simply said this: “(We are) monitoring the actions of regulators in other jurisdictions, and considering all options for appropriate oversight of these products“. I guess only time will tell, however if the past is any indication of the future, any regulations that take place in the US will likely be copied very slowly in Canada.