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Senators to FDA: Stronger warning labels needed for e-cigarettes

Senate Democrats urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require stronger warning labels for e-cigarettes.

Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) wrote to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg Thursday asking her to finalize proposed rules to expand the agencies ability to regulate all nicotine products.

The senators wrote that because of a lack of federal regulations, e-cigarette companies are producing their own warning labels that fail to list all of the health threats. They said the pending FDA proposal warning also wouldn't go far enough.

"In FDA's proposed 'deeming regulation,' the agency includes a warning label for e-cigarettes that does not adequately warn consumers on the known dangers of nicotine use. The proposed label reads 'WARNING: This product contains nicotine derived from tobacco. Nicotine is an addictive chemical,'" the letter stated. "We support requiring a label on nicotine's addictive properties, but we ask the FDA pursue requirements for more extensive warnings that address health risks that e-cigarettes pose."

More lawmakers have grown concerned over e-cigarette use as nicotine poisoning incidents rise.

The Democratic senators have also introduced the Protecting Children from Electronic Cigarette Advertising Act, which would ban marketing e-cigarettes to minors. 

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