Authorities in the US are actively considering whether it is time they should come up with health advisories about warning the public from exposure to liquid nicotine used in electronic cigarettes. This has assumed significance in view of the steady shift in user preference from smoking to vaping.
The US Food and Drug Administration have sought more data about liquid nicotine and how it affects children and infants from exposure to it, Reuters reported. This is due to the steady rise of incidents of nicotine poisonings has been reported by emergency rooms and poison centers throughout the US. Worse, many of the involved were underage.
There has been a sharp decline in the use of "analog" cigarettes and a rise of e-cigarettes because of the general opinion among the masses that e-cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes and hence can serve as a replacement for the latter.
However, the fact is that e-cigarette uses heat sourced from a battery to evaporate liquid nicotine. Health experts opine that e-cigarettes are just as harmful as their traditional counterparts so long as its nicotine vapor that is being ingested. The FDA however lacks the authority to regulate nicotine based products such as e-cigs on the ground that these lack tobacco.
As per a 2009 law, FDA is authorized to take steps with products containing tobacco. These include evaluating tobacco products, serving advisories to youths and so on.
What is even more worrisome for the FDA is that there has been a plethora of new tobacco based products invading the market over which the agency has little control. These include dissolvable nicotine strips, lotions, gels and beverages.
The FDA is seeking the public opinion on this and is asking citizens whether it is graphic warning messages that should be used or the language to be used to warn buyers. The FDA is also keen to know whether liquid nicotine based products should be included in child-proof packaging, The New York Times reported.