Overnight Regulation: FDA cracking down on e-cig sales to children

Welcome to Overnight Regulation, your daily rundown of news from the federal agencies, Capitol Hill and beyond. It's Thursday evening here in Washington. Here's the latest.

 

THE BIG STORY

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is cracking down on dozens of stores that it alleges sell electronic cigarettes to children.

The FDA sent warning letters on Thursday to 55 tobacco retailers it says continue to sell e-cigarettes to minors, even after such sales were prohibited last month as part of the agency's deeming rule.

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"We're helping protect the health of America's youth by enforcing restrictions that make it illegal to sell tobacco products to minors, including e-cigarettes, e-liquids and cigars," said Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products.

"Retailers play a vital role in keeping harmful and addictive tobacco products out of the hands of children and we urge them to take that responsibility seriously," he added. "It's clear from these initial compliance checks that there's a need for strong federal enforcement of these important youth access restrictions."

Previously, stores were prohibited from selling traditional cigarettes to children, but last month the rules were extended to also cover e-cigarettes, hookahs and cigars.

The FDA conducts routine compliance checks to ensure the rules are being followed. 

"During compliance checks at major national retail chains, tobacco specialty stores and online retailers, minors were able to purchase some of these newly regulated tobacco products in a variety of youth-appealing flavors, including bubble gum, cotton candy and gummy bear," the FDA wrote. http://bit.ly/2crsq6n

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

The Obama administration will publish 227 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Friday's edition of the Federal Register.

Here's what is happening:

--The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will issue new voluntary grading standards for egg in shells.

The changes go into effect immediately. http://bit.ly/2cqi15O

--The State Department will issue new visa requirements.

Applicants of the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program will be prohibited from wearing eyeglasses in the photographs they submit, and the photos must be taken within six months of entry into the country, the agency says.

The changes go into effect in 30 days. http://bit.ly/2d1bDTF

--The Federal Reserve will implement new international financial rules.

The rules stem from the Basel III agreement and address capital requirements for banks.

The changes go into effect on Oct. 14. http://bit.ly/2cr1T9e

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW 

Trump would roll back food safety regulations http://bit.ly/2cdakU8

FCC hits long distance phone carriers with $11M fine http://bit.ly/2croC58

Senate panel approves Nazi-stolen art recovery bill http://bit.ly/2cutraK

House passes bill to keep agencies from promoting proposed rules http://bit.ly/2crqfzw

Dem FCC member has doubts about television box proposal http://bit.ly/2d1xHNR

A tax loophole for U.S. companies operating overseas just got tighter – The Washington Post http://wapo.st/2cLsAEU

U.S. consumer safety agency plans recall of Samsung Galaxy Note 7: source – Reuters http://reut.rs/2cBGlRx

For Obama, a shift in clemency strategy – USA Today http://usat.ly/2cuoD4P

 

BY THE NUMBERS 

55: Number of tobacco retailers sent warnings to over allegations they sold electronic cigarettes to children.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY 

"This means that tweets as innocuous and as popular as the Department of the Interior's daily nature photo could even be considered improper promotion. I cannot believe that the sponsors of this bill would really intend to regulate nature photos on Twitter," Rep. William Lacy Clay Jr. (D-Mo.) said of the Regulatory Integrity Act, which passed the House Wednesday evening. The bill prohibits an agency from promoting a rulemaking on social media. http://bit.ly/2crqfzw

 

We'll work to stay on top of these and other stories throughout the week, so check The Hill's Regulation page (http://thehill.com/regulation) early and often for the latest. And send any comments, complaints or regulatory news tips our way, tdevaney@thehill.com or lwheeler@thehill.com. And follow us at @timdevaney and @wheelerlydia.

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