States Look to Tax and Regulate E-Cigarettes in 2014
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The U.S. Congress, the European Union, the FDA and state legislatures from coast to coast are examining ways to regulate, tax, or ban advertising of e-cigarettes, a $1.7 billion industry in the U.S. and growing. Because these products generally contain no tobacco, they fall outside the jurisdiction of most traditional state laws regulating tobacco products. Legislation was introduced in almost every state in 2013 and Arkansas, Hawaii, Illinois, North Carolina and South Carolina passed bills, primarily addressing the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes to minors. Other states and municipalities have moved to more broadly regulate advertising or have added e-cigarettes to existing regulations banning indoor smoking in public spaces.
Failing swift action at the FDA we expect a major legislative push in the states in 2014 to regulate the fast growing e-cigarettes industry. Prompted by intense lobbying by health advocates some 40 state attorneys general have sent two letters to the FDA asking that they regulate e-cigarettes as they do tobacco and tobacco products. The New York Times has reported that a draft FDA rule, which is not public, has been sent to the Office of Management and Budget and the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for review.