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A congressional report released on Monday took a strong position regarding the marketing of electronic cigarettes.
The World Health Organization is leading with an initiative to regulate e-cigarettes in the same way as tobacco. Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices. They heat a liquid nicotine solution that creates vapor. The WHO would like to classify these devices as tobacco under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin said that if the FDA "accepts responsibility for this product as they have for tobacco," it can work towards regulation and establish standards for marketing, according to CBS.
There are very few regulations on the advertising of e-cigarettes now. The FDA can insist on regulations for sales and manufacturing. Future regulations could include advertising bans and public smoking limits. With sales of e-cigarettes expanding to over $20 million last year, it could be a large change for the industry. It could diminish the possibility for future growth in the e-cigarette industry.
Shane Macguill, a tobacco analyst at Euromonitor, told the Financial Times, “It would be damaging to the industry’s capacity to bring in new consumers.”