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Week ahead: Clock ticking for FDA on e-cigarettes

Friday will mark one year since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed regulating electronic cigarettes, but public health advocates say they’re still waiting.

Pressure is building for the FDA to act soon.

The FDA originally floated the idea of regulating e-cigarettes four years ago, before formally proposing rules last April. http://j.mp/1InjV0h

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Under the proposed rule, the FDA would prohibit e-cigarettes from being sold to children under the age of 18. But the proposal does not specifically address e-cig marketing and advertisements that health advocates say appeal to children.

Public health advocates hope the final rule will address these concerns.

“It’s past time for the FDA to take action on e-cigarettes and to treat these products as what they are — addictive tobacco products,” Sen. Tom HarkinTom HarkinGrassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream Do candidates care about our health or just how much it costs? MORE (D-Iowa), then-Health Committee chairman, told The Hill at the time. “I welcome FDA action and look forward to closely examining this proposal once it comes out.”

That was one year ago Friday. Little has happened since then, and the agency admits it is unlikely to take action before June.

The clock is ticking for the FDA; studies show e-cigarette use among teenagers is skyrocketing. Public health advocates say every day they wait, more and more teenagers are picking up the bad habit. http://j.mp/1HBgEwh

“Every bit of delay is a new opportunity for the tobacco industry to hook new people on nicotine and get in the way of helping tobacco users quit,” said Gregg Haifley, director of federal relations at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

In other news, the House Science Committee will consider controversial hydraulic fracturing restrictions at a hearing on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the House Education and Workforce Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s enforcement actions.

 

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