FDA Announces New Regulations to Prevent Youth Access to Tobacco Products

The final rule covers all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

The Food and Drug Administration announced a final rule that extends authority to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars, and hookah and pipe tobacco. The rule will help to implement the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009, according to a news release.

The rule allows FDA to improve public health through a variety of steps, such as restricting the sale of tobacco products to minors nationwide. "We have more to do to help protect Americans from the dangers of tobacco and nicotine, especially our youth. As cigarette smoking among those under 18 has fallen, the use of other nicotine products, including e-cigarettes, has taken a drastic leap. All of this is creating a new generation of Americans who are at risk of addiction," said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell. "Today's announcement is an important step in the fight for a tobacco-free generation – it will help us catch up with changes in the marketplace, put into place rules that protect our kids, and give adults information they need to make informed decisions."

FDA says that smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States and is responsible for 480,000 deaths per year. Current e-cigarette use among high school students has risen from 1.5 percent in 2011 to 16 percent in 2015.

Before this rule, there was nothing in place to prohibit retailers from selling e-cigarettes, hookah tobacco, or cigars to people under the age of 18. The rule also will require manufacturers to show that newly manufactured products meet a public health standard, unless the product was on the market as of Feb. 15, 2007.

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