Richmond, Va. • Concerns about electronic cigarettes, including flavors and marketing that could appeal to young people, underscore the need to regulate the fast-growing industry, according to a Congressional report released Monday.
The report written by the staff of Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, California Rep. Henry Waxman and others highlights several issues including the lack of age restrictions and no uniform warning labels for the battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution and create vapor that's inhaled.
While the Food and Drug Administration plans to set marketing and product regulations for electronic cigarettes in the near future, for now, almost anything goes. A 2009 law gave the FDA the power to regulate a number of aspects of tobacco marketing and manufacturing, though it cannot ban nicotine or cigarettes outright. The agency first said it planned to assert authority over e-cigarettes in 2011 but hasn't yet. The proposed FDA regulation was submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for review in October.