May 05,2016

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Taylor Harvey: 202-224-4515

Wyden Cheers Decision to Regulate E-Cigarettes as a Tobacco Product

Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today applauded the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to regulate e-cigarette products the same as cigarettes and other tobacco products:

“It made zero sense that there were no consumer protection rules for e-cigarettes since they came to market nearly a decade ago,” Wyden said. “Today’s long-overdue decision marks an important first step towards a coherent tobacco policy. In the days ahead it will be critical to ensure the FDA makes use of its authority to put commonsense consumer protections in place and fight any attempt to roll back this important decision.”

Under the Tobacco Control Act of 2009, FDA was given increased authority to decide what is classified as a tobacco product. Before today’s decision, cigars, hookah, pipe tobacco and e-cigarettes were not subject to the same regulations as traditional cigarettes. FDA will now require specific labeling, prohibit sales to minors, and in the future may limit flavoring attractive to children. E-cigarettes continue to be exempt from federal tobacco tax laws and regulations.

Wyden has previously called for increased scrutiny and regulation of e-cigarettes. Last year, Wyden pushed the U.S. International Trade Commission to track the content and volume of e-cigarette products being imported into the United States, the vast majority of which were believed to be imported from China. USITC began collecting the data in January of this year. Wyden has also highlighted work by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) demonstrating the emergence of e-cigarettes has not resulted in a lower rate of conventional smoking.