Should the FDA regulate e-cigarettes?

Julie Salomone

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Should the FDA regulate e-cigarettes?

CREATED Sep. 4, 2013

NAPLES, Fla.- E-cigarettes have become an alternative for smokers, but are they regulated and can anyone buy them? The Food and Drug Administration is considering a crack down. 

Mike Minichiello and his wife own Joye Vapor Lounge on Tamiami Trail in Naples where they sell e-cigarettes. Mike got into the business after smoking cigarettes for years.

"I got into electronic cigarettes because I was a heavy smoker. I was a broker for over 10 years and had a lot of stress and smoked alot," said Mike Minichiello, Joye Vapor Lounge owner.

E-cigarettes are battery operated products that turn nicotine which is highly addictive into a vapor that is inhaled, according to the FDA. Many smokers use them as an alternative to cigarettes.

"There's no smoke, no tar, no tobacco, no carbon monoxide and pretty much eliminates all cancer ingredients." 

The FDA could announce proposed regulations for the increasingly popular devices as early as next month. An agency official tells Fox 4 any proposed changes have not been published yet so they can't give details. It is unclear if those regulations will address selling or marketing of the devices. Right now, there's no federal age requirement for buying e-cigarettes. Some states like Colorado and New Jersey have enacted age requirements. In Florida, there is no age requirement, but Mike says he doesn't sell to minors and it is stated on the products he sells.

"You must be of legal smoking age to purchase or use," said Minichiello. 
Mike says his products also display stricter labeling even though it is not required, but if the FDA ever comes in and regulates, he'll be ready.
"Currently,  we don't have to display labeling right now, but all of our labels state exactly what's in our liquid." 
Mike also points out these e-cigarettes aren't a quitting device, they just simply help somebody that smokes cigarettes.