What Are Electronic Cigarettes? (e-Cigarettes)

Electronic Cigarettes (e-Cigarettes)

What are electronic cigarettes? 

Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, are battery-operated products designed to deliver nicotine, flavor and other chemicals.  They turn nicotine, which is highly addictive, and other chemicals into a vapor that is inhaled by the user.

Image of an e-Cigarette inserted into a charger.

Image of an e-Cigarette inserted into a charger.
Most e-cigarettes are manufactured to look like conventional cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Some resemble everyday items such as pens and USB memory sticks.

As the safety and efficacy of e-cigarettes have not been fully studied, consumers of e-cigarette products currently have no way of knowing:

  • whether e-cigarettes are safe for their intended use,
  • how much nicotine or other potentially harmful chemicals are being inhaled during use, or
  • if there are any benefits associated with using these products.

Additionally, it is not known if e-cigarettes may lead young people to try other tobacco products, including conventional cigarettes, which are known to cause disease and lead to premature death.

Report Adverse Events

Please report adverse events with e-cigarettes by:

  • filling out the online form or
  • calling 1-800-FDA-1088. 
FDA Regulation of e-Cigarettes

Currently, e-cigarettes that are marketed for therapeutic purposes are regulated by the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER).  The FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) currently regulates

  • cigarettes,
  • cigarette tobacco,
  • roll-your-own tobacco, and
  • smokeless tobacco.

FDA has stated its intent to issue a proposed rule that would extend FDA’s tobacco product authorities to products that meet the statutory definition of “tobacco product.” For further details, please see the Unified Agenda entry describing this  rulemaking:  http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201210&RIN=0910-AG38.

E-Cigarette Health Questions FDA Study 2013

e Cigarette insertedElectronic cigarettes; E-Cigs. They’re making a dramatic impact on the marketplace for smokers. Some e-cig smokers think they are safer. Others say e-cig vapor devices help them kick their tobacco habit. Th eU.S. Government wants to know more and has enlisted Chicago researchers to find out.

An electronic or “e-cig” cigarette store in Chicago provides a window on the inner workings of a “vapor store.” Some visitors are regulars stocking up on supplies. Others are newcomers – ready to try out the offerings. Much like a barrista or a bartender, alchemist  Katie Galan — an e-cigarette user herself — rattles off a menu of concoctions

  • First, select your nicotine level. Twenty-four is a little higher than your average cigarette, 16 is a little lower.
  • Add a flavor.
  • Select the color of your stick – the battery portion that looks like a real cigarette. Red, blue, black, green, metallic… your call.

More than a few e-cig smokers think they’re safer than tobacco products. But are they? It’s a question the U.S. government can’t answer. Unlike tobacco products, e-cigarettes aren’t regulated by the FDA.  In 2009, the FDA warned consumers about potential health risks after analyzing nicotine cartridges from two leading brands. One sample was found to contain diethylene glycol, a toxic chemical used in antifreeze. Several other samples were found to contain carcinogens, including nitrosamines.

E-cigarette Legislation Regulation and Taxes Oklahoma

Oklahoma e-cig lawsOKLAHOMA CITY – Three lawmakers are launching a fight over e-cigs (electronic cigarettes) – electronic cigarettes.

Last week, Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon approved so-called “e-cigarette” study proposals by Speaker Pro Tem Mike Jackson, Rep. Mike Turner and Rep. David Derby. The studies will consider how the devices are taxed and how their sales are regulated.

Oklahoma Representative Mike Jackson said, “His brother has used an e-cigarette to gradually reduce his nicotine dependency. He hasn’t used a cigarette in three or four months. I have seen first-hand how they can help,” Jackson said.

Doug Matheny of tobaccomoney.com said the claim that an FDA regulation could lead to a dramatic state tax hike is a “scare tactic.”

“It’s one of those classic examples of the tobacco industry – and I do believe the tobacco industry is behind this – to make legislators feel like they have to do something – they have to act,” Matheny said. “And actually they don’t need to at all in Oklahoma.”

A simple bill to restrict youth access to e-cigarettes should take less than one page, but the design here is about expanding markets for nicotine, not reducing smoking, Matheny said. “These companies don’t really care what you buy from them as long as you continue to buy from them. They’re selling an addictive product that contains nicotine. As long as you don’t quit altogether, they’re happy.”

Read a related piece: E-cigarette regulation and taxes once again on the front burner at the Capitol
By WAYNE GREENE World Senior Writer