U.S. Senators Want Stronger Warnings for E-Cigarettes

By Shawn Dwyer 10/14/14

Six Democratic senators wrote a letter to the FDA asking to require labels on all nicotine products, including e-cigs.

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Last week, six U.S. senators signed a letter addressed to U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg urging her agency to require tobacco companies to label e-cigarettes "listing all of the health threats the products pose."

Signed by Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Jack Reed (D-RI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Edward Markey (D-MA), the letter stressed the importance of FDA regulations "in the absence of a clear federal standard," despite the agency's proposal to regulate certain aspects of electronic cigarettes back in April 2014.

"E-cigarette manufacturers owned by big tobacco companies are beginning to concoct their own health warnings about their products that lack uniformity and are not comprehensive," the letter said.

The letter went on to cite examples of the health risks posed by electronic cigarettes and pointed out the risks of nicotine use, including "risks to adolescent brain development and pregnant women, as well as the dangers posed by additives and other chemicals that may be in e-cigarettes, such as benzene and formaldehyde."

The six co-signers of the letter have been some of the most vocal critics of electronic cigarettes. Back in April, they signed a joint House-Senate letter denouncing Big Tobacco for targeting youth in their marketing campaigns. They also introduced legislation to curb such practices.

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Shawn Dwyer is a writer, editor and content producer living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Linkedin.