Doctors endorse crackdown on e-cigarettes

The most powerful doctor group in the country is taking on electronic cigarettes by opposing the marketing and sale of the devices to minors.

The American Medical Association approved the policy position on Tuesday and urged federal regulators to adopt it as part of their proposed crackdown on electronic cigarettes.

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"The AMA supports a [Food and Drug Administration] proposal to fill the gap in federal regulations on purchasing, labeling, packaging and advertising of electronic cigarettes," said incoming AMA President Robert M. Wah in a statement.

"The new policy will guide the AMA's future efforts to strongly encourage the proposed FDA regulation as a notable and important step to improve public health and deter the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors."

The AMA recommended setting minimum age restrictions on the sale of electronic cigarettes and seeking to prevent the devices from being marketed to minors.

Their proposal would also require product labels to disclose certain health details about electronic cigarettes; order packages to be child-proof; and block manufacturers from claiming that the devices help users to stop smoking.

The FDA has already proposed a rule that would put electronic cigarettes under its regulatory authority for the first time.

The multi-pronged regulation would require FDA review of any new products on the market, impose an age threshold on purchases and order certain health warnings on packaging.

The AMA's action came during its Annual Meeting, where members also backed additional labeling for added sugars in food, the vaccination of schoolchildren against meningitis, and a study on how patients and physicians can obtain medical price data.

The group also swore in a new leader, Robert Wah, a reproductive endocrinologist and the organization's first Chinese-American president.