Government officials are once again trying to make it harder to obtain and use smokeless cigarettes. Now Senate Democrats are trying to get the FDA to require warning labels on e-cigarette packaging.
Leading the way for the warning label push are Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.). Together they have drafted a proposal to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to encourage her to finalize rules to allow the FDA the ability to regulate nicotine products further.
This group of senators is concerned over an apparent lack of regulations. Moreover, they do not feel that manufacturer’s own warning labels are adequate.
The senators wrote that because of a lack of federal regulations, smokeless cigarette companies fail to list all of the health threats. They said the pending FDA proposal warning also wouldn’t go far enough.
According to the Hill.com, this group of Democrats suggests that warning labels should read “WARNING: This product contains nicotine derived from tobacco. Nicotine is an addictive chemical”. They believe that this label will inform vapers about nicotine usage and help to bring down the recent rise in nicotine poisonings.
The problem with this kind of label is that it is much more harsh than needed. There is no denying that the label is technically true; however, the tone of the message makes it much more menacing than needed.
What’s shocking, however, is that some of the e-cigarette manufacturer’s (especially those who are also Big Tobacco companies) warning labels can be much severe—often suggesting that their products are “unsuitable for children and people with diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease” according to the New York Times.
One such example is the MarkTen brand of e-cigarette, which is sold by Altria (a child company of Phillip Morris). This brand has a 117 word, non-required warning label .
The label on the company’s traditional cigarettes is the much shorter, federally mandated warning label. Such a strong warning suggests that smokeless cigarette companies are trying to avoid any future lawsuits by showing initiative.
Along with pushing to require a stricter warning label, Democratic senators are also trying to implement the Protecting Children from Electronic Cigarette Advertising Act. This act would keep e-cigarette manufacturers from marketing their products to minors.
**No e-cigarette manufacturer believes that e-cigarettes are intended for children**
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