FDA To Begin Regulation Of E-Cigarettes

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SPRINGDALE (KFSM) -- The FDA announced on Thursday (May 5) that it will begin regulating e-cigarettes the same way it regulates other tobacco products.

The new Food and Drug Administration regulations ban e-cigarette sales to those under 18 years old, and require new health warnings.

In Arkansas, the sale of e-cigs to those under 18 was already banned, but the warnings are new.

Souvanna Chanthavong was a tobacco smoker for 19 years. He transitioned to e-cigs about three years ago, and said it's a trend he has seen among his customers at XL Vapors in Springdale.

"I think it's good" Chanthavong said. "I think you need to be eighteen to purchase in every state, and that should have been done a long time ago."

However Travis Apon, who uses e-cigarettes, said, "Cigarettes are pretty bad for any life form that comes in contact with it, so if we can get rid of cigarettes all together, that is definitely the stepping stone to moving on to that."

Chanthavong said about 95 percent of the people who come into his store are smokers trying to quit the habit. He said there is not enough research to prove that e-cigs help quit smoking, but there also not enough research to show whether e-cigs are harmful.

The new regulations also mean e-cig manufacturers will need federal permission to continue marketing all e-cigs launched since 2007. The shift has been opposed by the industry.