Posted on November 19, 2013
We spend a lot of time telling our readers about the recent increase in e-cig use along with the social and as health implications surrounding our favorite smoking alternative.
We want you to know what we know. So here’s another bit of information that you’ll find useful and it’s all about the FDA’s struggle with classifying e-cigs, their import regulations and their overall safety as a product.
Let’s go back to the year 2009. This was the magical year that the FDA began its attempts to provide the public with an answer to the question: Are e-cigarettes safe?
It was a rough series of studies producing no definitive answers. The brands under study were NJoy and Smoking Everywhere. Between the two brands, 18 different lines of cartridges were researched and this is what they found:
“The study produced mixed results: it found TSNA carcinogens (cancer-causing particles) in five of the cartridges, and traces of diethylene glycol — a highly toxic substance — in one cartridge produced by Smoking Everywhere. Other substances that are thought to be linked to cancer were found in 13 of the cartridges, with only Smoking Everywhere’s "no nicotine" cartridges getting a complete pass. And those "no nicotine" cartridges? All but one contained traces of nicotine.”
Then what about import regulations? The FDA’s attempt to ban the imports of e-cig products from China was hurled down after public statements made by an NJoy spokesperson.
“The FDA released the results of its research publicly, and in September 2009 banned US e-cigarette imports on the grounds that they were unregulated medical devices.”
“Four months after the ban, the FDA was forced by a US court to reverse the import restrictions and regulate the devices as tobacco products.”
The FDA has since struggled to classify the devices as either therapeutic or as a tobacco product. So, do they get grouped with nicotine patches and gums or are they just like the hundreds of varieties of traditional cigarettes on the market?
If e-cigs can be lined up similarly to quit smoking ads and programs, the legislators may come up with an answer. In turn, the FDA will likely take another stab at e-cig regulation.
By Haleyrae Anderson