Local shops, health officials weigh in on proposed e-cigarette r - Tucson News Now

Local shops, health officials weigh in on proposed e-cigarette regulations

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Today the FDA announced a new proposal to regulate those e-cigarettes just like traditional tobacco products, but some say, even more needs to be done to keep your kids safe.  That's one of the main goals behind the proposed regulations-to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of minors

They're battery operated devices that turn nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals into vapor that can be inhaled.  With flavors with names like "gummy bear" and "Captain Crunch" local health officials are concerned of their appeal to children

The new rules proposed by the FDA would make it a nationwide ban so minors can't purchase e cigarettes from other parts of the country or online

It also requires manufacturers to report ingredients and get federal approval.  Arizona already has a law in place that bans the purchase of e-cigarettes and their devices to minors, but not every state has a ban in place.

The proposed rules would not restrict flavors or advertising-something local health officials think should be regulated.

Jennifer Chancay, with the Pima County Health Department says, "I would say I don't think the Captain Crunch flavor and the gummy bear flavor are trying to get me to use their product. My children, perhaps. There are a lot of flavors that to me don't appeal to be attracting adults to the product."

"I haven't seen any children trying to walk in our facility.  I think children are smoking more cigarettes than they are e-cigarettes,"says Alfonso Francisco, a store rep with local electronic cigarette lounge LiTmist.

No minors are allowed inside the e-cigarette lounge and employees at LiTmist say all their ingredients are FDA approved.  Some of their customers have claimed that e-cigarettes have helped them quit smoking.  However, health officials say evidence supporting that claim is limited.

The  FDA says the public, and the electronic cigarette industry will have 75 days to comment on the proposed regulations .  Then they will review those comments before issuing a final rule.

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