FDA propose new rules for e-cigarette manufacturers

by: Jim Strickland Updated:

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ATLANTA - The Food and Drug Administration proposed a new set of rules to govern the sale of electronic cigarettes Thursday.

Margaret Hamburg, head of the FDA, called this a "historic day for the FDA and public health."

"It's just the best thing that could have happened for us," said Cobb County e-cigarette retailer David Owens. 

Owens told Channel 2 consumer investigator Jim Strickland many of the rules encourage policies he's had in place from the start of his business last year. 

"We also do not sell to minors. We card everybody that looks like they're under the age of 40," Owens said.

Along with banning sales to minors, the FDA says e-cigarette manufactures would have to prove any claims that the devices are healthier than tobacco cigarettes. 

Labels would have to warn of addictive nicotine in e-cigarette juice. Flavorings would still be allowed for now, as would advertising and Internet sales.

Critics believe the flavors in the juice that is vaporized attract young users.

"I think if you keep your kids away from it, it shouldn't be a problem.  And if they're not in here buying it, it shouldn't be an issue," said former smokeless tobacco user turned e-cigarette vapor Matt Brewer.

"You're puffing and your exhaling something that looks like smoke, but it's not, it's a vapor. It's a water vapor," said Roy Shore after buying his first e-cigarette after years of pipe and cigar smoking.

Strickland discovered a local company manufactures a wide range of e-cigarette liquids. They'll have to apply for a license under the FDA rules.

The public has 75 days to comment on them before they become final.