FDA inhales more authority

Tobacco regulations could expand to include e-cigs

If the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has its way, it will soon gain oversight of more tobacco products. Currently, the FDA regulates cigarettes and roll-your-own, smokeless and cigarette tobacco. But just last week the agency submitted a proposal to increase its scope to include e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, hookah tobacco and other products.

“This proposed rule is the latest step in our efforts to make the next generation tobacco-free,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a press release. (Her department oversees the FDA.)

Should the proposal be approved, the newly covered tobacco products would be subject to more laws. Among other new requirements, they would have to register with the FDA and report all ingredients; they’d be prohibited from offering free samples; and they would be required to include health warnings.