When electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, first entered the market, there were few rules regulating who they could be sold to and what warnings (if any) they must carry. In recent years, concerns about the safety of e-cigarettes has grown, and many have criticized e-cigarette manufacturers for targeting teenagers with candy-like flavors like cookies and cream, chocolate and birthday cake.
On May 5, 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that e-cigarettes and other tobacco products, like hookahs, will be regulated in the same way that traditional cigarettes are. Retailers will now be required to verify that all e-cigarette customers are at least 18 years old, and they will no longer be able to distribute free samples to customers.
Previously, there were no regulations about disclosing the ingredients in e-cigarettes. Under the new rule, all manufacturers will be required to list what is in their products. E-cigarettes must also now carry warnings that they contain the addictive substance, nicotine, and they must come in child-resistant packaging.
In addition, all e-cigarettes that went on sale after February 2007 must gain FDA approval. Considering the fact that the e-cigarette market was virtually non-existent before 2007, this means that every e-cigarette, as well as every flavor and nicotine level, will need to be approved. This could be a very time-intensive and expensive process for companies. E-cigarette manufacturers will have two years to gain FDA approval.