Healthcare

Senate Dems call for speedy e-cig regs

Senate Democrats are renewing their push to keep electronic cigarettes out of the hands of children more than one year after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pledged to do so.

The FDA is "dragging its feet" on new regulations that would prohibit stores from selling e-cigarettes to children under the age of 18, the senators say.

Currently, children of any age may buy e-cigarettes. The FDA proposed new age limits in April 2014, but has not yet finalized the rules in the year since.

The FDA has said it expects to issue the new rules in June.

A groups of eight Senate Democrats will take to the floor Wednesday evening, urging the FDA to quickly regulate e-cigarettes.

The senators include Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Ed Markey (Mass.), Patty Murray (Wash.), and Jack Reed (R.I.).

The FDA's proposed rules would set age restrictions for purchasing e-cigarettes, but would not address marketing and advertising efforts that critics say are targeted at children.

A new report finds that e-cigarettes are becoming increasingly popular with children. According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, the number of high school students who smoke e-cigarettes tripled to 13.4 percent in 2014.

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