Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes, also known as E-Cigarettes, were introduced by a Chinese Manufacturing company called Ruyan in 2003. The device offers the same smoking sensation as a regular cigarette but is said to eliminate smoking’s lasting and harmful effects on health.  The E-Cigarette delivers nicotine in the form of vapor and is smokeless; therefore it can be used in the workplace, restaurants, and airports.   The liquid, which is available in a variety of flavors, is similar to tobacco made in Camel or Marlboro cigarettes. The liquid is turned into vapor through a rechargeable, battery operated heating element.

The FDA has shown restraint regarding the importation of E-Cigarettes.  While the E-Cigarette manufacturers claim their product has little-to-no harmful effects, there has not been any testing by the FDA.  The FDA has written multiple letters to manufacturers informing them they are in violation of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) and have classified this as a drug delivery device.  Their concern is that the E-Cigarette has been marketed inappropriately with a lack of proper health warnings. They fear the younger generation, or non-smokers, have been drawn to this device due to the novelty and constant claims of safety. [1]

In December 2010, a ruling stated that the E-Cigarette is a tobacco product, not a drug delivery device and the FDA cannot block the importation.  [2] The sale of E-Cigarettes is now up to state legislation.  Some states are working to ban E-Cigarettes based on their appeal to non-smokers, while other states are planning to make this product illegal to minors.




1.     FDA: For Consumers (http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm225210.htm)

2.     Businessweek: FDA Loses Appeal, Can’t Regulate E-Cigarettes as Drug


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