You might have heard that many electronic cigarette manufacturers are now affixing warning labels to product packaging. This is being done by companies who know that regulations from the Food and Drug Administration are on the way. They are making moves to get ahead of the curve, and show that they are willing to play ball with regulations. This seems logical to most vapers, but it is apparently not enough for a group of U.S. Senators. Last week six Senators delivered a letter to Margaret Hamburg, The Commissioner of the FDA. In the letter they urged the FDA to move forward with regulations, and to adopt a unified warning label that would be required on all electronic cigarette and juice packaging.
Apparently the preemptive efforts of some of the current manufacturers are not enough. Pictured here we have a warning label that is being applied to Mark Ten electronic cigarettes. The verbiage warns of the addictive quality of nicotine, and lists potential effects. It also states that the products are not intended for children, nor should they be used by pregnant women. They finish the warning off by reminding users not to ingest e juice in any form but vapor. It looks pretty well thought out to us. The Senators disagree. They specifically take issue with the fact that the warning labels do not address the risks to adolescent brain development that may occur when pregnant women take in nicotine, and the risks associated with chemicals including benzene and formaldehyde, which are included in some juice blends. The Senators want to see a longer warning label applied to each and every e cigarette package that hits the shelves.
The FDA already had verbiage for a warning label planned. In their proposal they included a clause that would require that the following be printed on vapor packaging; “WARNING: This product contains nicotine derived from tobacco. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.” The way that this warning label was crafted intended to not only warn consumers, but to solidify that e cigarettes should be included in the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, as they contain a derivative of the tobacco plant. While many vapers disagree with lumping e cigarettes in with tobacco, the FDA thinks that they should be and addressed this opinion in as many ways as they could, including the potential warning label. Still, this warning is not enough to satisfy these Senators. They want a longer waning, that includes more potential issues. They also want the exact same warning on every vapor product. One of their complaints in the letter was that currently manufacturers who are applying warning labels by choice are not sending a uniform message to consumers. The Senators did not draft a warning of their own, which seems strange considering that they are urging for a very specific message to be applied.
While taking issue with warning labels might seem small, this letter shows that government officials of all levels are calling for e cigarette regulation to move forward. It also shows that there will likely be changes to the FDA’s proposal before the final draft is approved and made law. As for warnings, we don’t think that the FDA needs to require that all e cigarette packaging contain an essay-sized warning label. Tobacco cigarettes do not even have to include such lengthy warnings, and most Senators would probably agree that vapor is far safer for the body than smoke. The mainstream media has even been pointing out that current e cigarette warning labels are “absurd” in length. A warning label will be a part of future packaging. However, there is little benefit in requiring that a laundry list of side effects be applied to each and every package. Enacting a stricter standard for vapor than actual tobacco sounds more like a witch hunt than common sense regulation.