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Local Officials React to FDA Extending Regulations on E-Cigs

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BROOME COUNTY, N.Y. -

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Thursday that it plans to extend its tobacco regulations to e-cigarettes, hookah and pipe tobacco, and cigars.

This includes displays of health warnings on all product packages and in advertisements.  The FDA will review new tobacco products not yet on the market.  Additionally, it will require electronic cigarette products made after 2007 to undergo review and approval.

It will also ban the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18 nationwide.  This law will go into effect within 90 days.  It has already been in effect in New York State.  

On Friday, Fox 40 spoke with officials from the Broome County Health Department who believe these regulations will help deter people, especially teenagers, from becoming addicted to products like electronic cigarettes. They say these products can lead to further tobacco use.

“Knowledge is power. So before you buy them you’re going to see that big warning. It’s going to be on the package and hopefully that will keep someone from wanting to try them, especially our local youth,” said Marissa Lamphere, Reality Check program coordinator at the B.C. Health Dept.

According to a recent survey supported by the FDA and Centers for Disease Control, e-cigarette use among high school students went from 1.5 percent in 2011 to 16 percent in 2015.

Jeff Smith, the manager of Vapor King in Endwell, says that he doesn't feel electronic cigarettes being regulated is necessarily a bad thing.  However, he does not feel they should be regulated as a tobacco product.

“You still get the nicotine, but that’s the only thing from the tobacco that you actually get from our product.  You don’t get any of the tars, or the chemicals, or the 50+ carcinogens that are in cigarettes.  So it’s a much safer alternative.  And there’s all kinds of studies out there that indicate that,” said Smith.

Smith says he views e-cigarettes as a way to get people off of cigarette addiction.  According to Smith, he was a heavy cigarette smoker; however, e-cigarettes have allowed him to go three years without one.

He added that Vapor King has a strong stance on checking IDs and not selling to those under 18 years old.

For more information on the FDA's new regulation, click here.