New Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations for all tobacco and smoking products are poised to take effect next month in attempt to reduce the number of minors purchasing and using tobacco products.
Beginning Aug. 8, the FDA will review new tobacco products not yet on the market, help prevent misleading claims by tobacco product manufacturers, evaluate the ingredients of tobacco products and how they are made and communicate the potential risks of tobacco products by issuing health warnings and advisories.
The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) came out Wednesday in support of the new regulations to restrict the sale of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah tobacco and pipe tobacco, among others, as well as to restrict the sale of all tobacco products to minors.
According to the ADPH, 9,000 deaths annually in Alabama are attributed to smoking-related diseases. These deaths are due to cancer, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, secondhand smoke and smoking related fires.
A recent survey supported by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show current e-cigarette use among high school students has increased from 1.5 percent in 2011 to 16 percent in 2015 — more than 900 percent.
The ADPH is concerned with a particular variety of e-cigarettes called “vaping,” which includes the use of liquid tobacco in e-cigarettes. These are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid — usually containing nicotine mixed with the chemicals propylene glycol and glycerin, and often flavorings ranging from bubble gum to watermelon — into a vapor that users can inhale. They deliver nicotine, a highly addictive drug, to the body without producing any smoke.
The ADPH hopes these new regulations will help combat the use of these dangerous products.