New federal rules restrict e-cigarette sales, marketing

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New restrictions on sales and marketing of e-cigarettes to minors took effect Monday. (KABC)

New federal regulations took effect Monday that place tougher restrictions on the sale and marketing of vaping products.

The rules place the same restrictions on electronic cigarettes and vaping as apply to cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Sales to minors under 18 will be prohibited, vending machine sales are outlawed and a retailer can no longer give away free samples. New products will also have to be submitted to a thorough FDA review before going on store shelves.

John Yi with the American Lung Association said the new rules will help dispel the notion that vaping is less dangerous than smoking.

"There's going to be now warning labels about the health hazards for e-cigarettes and the juices they use," Yi said. "That really goes against a common notion that a lot of people have that these are healthy alternatives to tobacco products and cigarettes."

But supporters and retailers of e-cigarettes say the new regulations will hurt small businesses that sell the products.

Doug Hughes, an e-cigarette retailer, said many of the stores that specialize in vaping products will go out of business under the new rules. He added that retailers are now prohibited from arguing that c-cigarettes are better for public health than traditional tobacco products.

"The FDA has essentially made it illegal for any vaper business to talk about the potential health benefits or the positive public health impact that this technology can have," Hughes said.
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