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 SebeliusThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Mike Roman says 3M on track to deliver 2 billion respirators globally and 1 billion in US by end of year; US, Pfizer agree to 100M doses of COVID-19 vaccine that will be free to Americans The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Former HHS Secretary Sebelius gives Trump administration a D in handling pandemic; Oxford, AstraZeneca report positive dual immunity results from early vaccine trial Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Kathleen Sebelius 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 MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyThe Hill's Campaign Report: Even the Post Office is political now | Primary action tonight | Super PACS at war Markey offers apology to family of unarmed Black teen amid criticism The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden's latest plan on racial inequality MORE (D-Mass.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOvernight Defense: Guardsman to testify Lafayette Square clearing was 'unprovoked escalation' | Dems push for controversial Pentagon nominee to withdraw | Watchdog says Pentagon not considering climate change risks to contractors Democrats urge controversial Pentagon policy nominee to withdraw Chamber of Commerce, banking industry groups call on Senate to pass corporate diversity bill MORE (D-Ohio), Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerBottom line Polls show big bounce to Biden ahead of Super Tuesday Sanders poised for big Super Tuesday MORE (D-Calif.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyHillicon Valley: NSA warns of new security threats | Teen accused of Twitter hack pleads not guilty | Experts warn of mail-in voting misinformation Merkley, Sanders introduce bill limiting corporate facial recognition Portland protesters clash with law enforcement for first time since federal presence diminished MORE (D-Ore.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedOvernight Defense: Embattled Pentagon policy nominee withdraws, gets appointment to deputy policy job | Marines, sailor killed in California training accident identified | Governors call for extension of funding for Guard's coronavirus response Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled Overnight Defense: Pompeo pressed on move to pull troops from Germany | Panel abruptly scraps confirmation hearing | Trump meets family of slain soldier MORE (D-R.I.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinErnst challenges Greenfield to six debates in Iowa Senate race Biden unveils disability rights plan: 'Your voices must be heard' Bottom line MORE (D-Iowa) and Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinThe Hill's Campaign Report: Who will Biden pick to be his running mate? Don't count out Duckworth in Biden VP race Schumer: Trump should want COVID-19 deal to help GOP election chances MORE (D-Ill.).