2:27pm

Wed January 22, 2014
Health

Colorado Health Calls For Federal E-Cigarette Regulation

"Vaping" is growing in popularity.
Credit Brad Bethell Photography / Flickr-Creative Commons

The FDA currently regulates cigarettes, loose tobacco and smokeless tobacco, but does not regulate e-cigarettes, little cigars or dissolvable tobacco. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment wants that to change.

An estimated 6.9 percent of Coloradans have tried e-cigarettes – and that was before tobacco giant RJ Reynolds chose Colorado as one of four test markets last summer, bumping up their advertising

"We know as little if not less about the health effects of all forms of marijuana as we do about e-cigarettes."

significantly.

Dr. Larry Wolk is the executive director and chief medical officer for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. He says having FDA regulations would open up funding for more research into the effects of e-cigarettes.

“We don’t know yet what the harmful impact is of that e-cigarette. And that’s why we’re saying let’s get these regulated by the FDA so we can find out,” he said.

Wolk says young e-cigarette users could develop nicotine dependence, leading to decades of tobacco use.

“We know as little if not less about the health effects of all forms of marijuana as we do about e-cigarettes,” said Wolk.

The agency wants the FDA to require a minimum age of 18 nationwide to purchase all tobacco products, and prohibit online sales and tobacco marketing aimed at kids like flavored products and samples.

Colorado is one of the few states where it is illegal to sell e-cigarettes to people under 18.