The growing success of e-cigarettes is being met by the FDA with an attempt to regulate the devices and their nicotine cartridges/components as drugs.
Last week the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent out letters to five e-cigarette distributors – E-CigaretteDirect LLC, Ruyan America Inc., Gamucci America (Smokey Bayou Inc.), E-Cig Technology Inc., and Johnson’s Creek Enterprises LLC – "warning them of various violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, including unsubstantiated claims and poor manufacturing practices." Similarly, some states are already moving to ban the devices.
The marketing of e-cigarettes as a means of kicking the habit of smoking real cigarettes appears to concern the FDA. After testing 18 e-cigarettes from two leading suppliers in July 2009, the FDA found carcinogens and toxic chemicals. Those tests were met with strong opposition from industry leaders as being flawed. The stance among manufacturers remains that the devices are still far less harmful than, and a much healthier alternative to, regular cigarettes.
Green Nicotine, for example, advertises their products as eliminating secondhand smoke and without carcinogenic chemicals. They don’t offer fruit-flavored varieties (known to appeal to minors), and contend that their e-cigarettes offer a "cleaner" dose of nicotine than some competitors. Additionally, while they don’t market their products as aids to help quit smoking, they do offer two different strengths of nicotine cartridges – low and high.
Sean Schoepflin, founder and CEO of Green Nicotine, welcomes FDA regulation to help tone down some of the health claims made by other e-cigarette manufactures, yet believes banning the devices or subjecting them to "costly federal drug approval" would be unnecessary actions limiting the safer alternative from reaching its market.
For more information on e-cigarettes, see a previous blog I did on this topic on August 13, 2009 at: charlottesville.injuryboard.com/miscellaneous/federal-concerns-about-electronic-cigarettes-are-growing.aspx