Senators warn of secondhand risks from e-cigarettes

 

Democratic senators have asked the Food and Drug Administration to take into consideration the potential secondhand harm from e-cigarettes as the agency writes rules to regulate the products.

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In a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, eight Democrats pointed to two recent studies that show e-cigarette byproducts such as formaldehyde could harm not just those inhaling the tobacco product, but also those around them.

”Because many of the same limitations on smoking in public spaces do not apply universally to e-cigarettes and other advanced nicotine delivery products, these products put at risk not only adults and youth who use these devices, but potentially also those who are involuntary exposed to secondhand vapors,” the senators wrote.

The FDA is currently working on a rule that would bring tobacco products such as e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, nicotine gels, hookahs and dissolvable tobacco products under its purview. The agency already regulates products that account for about 25 cents of every consumer dollar spent in the U.S.

If the rule is finalized, the manufacturers of e-cigarettes would have to register with the agency and list their ingredients. They would also need to get FDA approval before marketing new products.

While e-cigarette companies claim their products can help people quit traditional cigarettes, the rule would also require them to provide research before making such claims.

"This proposed rule is the latest step in our efforts to make the next generation tobacco-free," said Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusOPINION | 5 big ideas to halt America's opioid epidemic Aligning clinical and community resources improves health Sebelius on GOP healthcare plan: 'I'm not sure what the goal is here' MORE, the outgoing secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Stakeholders can voice their opinion on the FDA’s new rule on regulations.gov until July 9. So far the docket has received almost 3,400 comments.

The senators who signed the letter to the FDA were Ed MarkeyEd MarkeySenate Dem: Trump has to stop ‘reckless’ language on North Korea Trump sparks debate over war resolution for North Korea Foreign Relations Dem: North Korea is the modern-day Cuban missile crisis MORE (D-Mass.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOvernight Finance: House passes spending bill with border wall funds | Ryan drops border tax idea | Russia sanctions bill goes to Trump's desk | Dems grill bank regulator picks Dems grill Trump bank regulator nominees Senate Dems launch talkathon ahead of ObamaCare repeal vote MORE (D-Ohio), Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerTime is now to address infrastructure needs Tom Steyer testing waters for Calif. gubernatorial bid Another day, another dollar for retirement advice rip-offs MORE (D-Calif.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyPresident Trump, listen to candidate Trump and keep Volcker Rule Senators push federal prisons to expand compassionate release Senate confirms Trump's new FBI director MORE (D-Ore.), Jack ReedJack ReedTop Armed Services Dem: Trump's North Korea 'ad lib' not helpful Mattis warns North Korea of 'destruction of its people' Closing old military bases will help our defense — and our communities MORE (D-R.I.), Richard BlumenthalRichard (Dick) BlumenthalSenators push FTC to finalize changes to contact lens rule Trump rule change ignites safety debate Blumenthal: ‘No question’ evidence connects Manafort with criminal wrongdoing MORE (D-Conn.), Tom HarkinTom HarkinDistance education: Tumultuous today and yesterday Grassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream MORE (D-Iowa) and Richard DurbinDick DurbinOPINION | DACA helps people achieve the American dream, don't take it away Immigration battlefield widens for Trump, GOP 'Dreamers' deadline looms for Trump MORE (D-Ill.).