FDA announces plans to regulate e-cigarette industry - FOX Carolina 21

FDA announces plans to regulate e-cigarette industry

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E-cigarette business owners say they vape, not smoke. (April 22, 2014) E-cigarette business owners say they vape, not smoke. (April 22, 2014)

Apple pie, bacon, coffee, cola and cotton candy are all on the menu at NicVape in Greenville.

Customers won't need a napkin though to indulge because these are e-liquid flavors.

"It's one of the those things I never thought I would be able to do is quit smoking," said Coling Rick, a co-owner at NicVape.

"We're not cigarettes, we're not burning smoke," he said.

Instead of smoking, it's called vaping. Liquid nicotine is put into a tube. It then heats the liquid, which creates a vapor users inhale. E-cigarette makers say the vapor is a harmless water vapor.

"For the first time smokers have an option that works," Rick said.

Right now, e-cigarettes aren't regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and there are burning questions as to what's in e-cigarettes.

"There's four things- there's propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, food flavoring and pure nicotine," he said.

Researchers with the FDA announced on Tuesday that they hope to have new rules in place for e-cigarettes by the end of the month.

"What we don't want to happen is to have the FDA lump us in with the Tobacco Act," Rick said.

However, Carol Reeves, executive director with the Greenville Family Partnership, said that's exactly what should happen.

"The flavoring themselves can be toxic. We know nicotine is poison," she said.

Members with the organization focus on drug and tobacco prevention,  and are working on a new campaign to get universities like Furman to go tobacco free.  And they want to include e-cigarettes.

"The word is out that it's a cool thing-better than smoking, safer than smoking. Maybe, but the jury is still out," Reeves said.

She says e-cigarette makers market to young customers.

"All the kids are using the term 'vaping.' You don't really need to be inhaling anything into your lungs besides oxygen," she said.

But for Rick, a former smoker, e-cigarettes really helped him stop smoking, he says.

The FDA could decide to force the e-cigarette industry to disclose ingredients, or put health warning labels on their products.

Members with the Greenville Family Partnership are sponsoring an event called Follow the Signs on Thursday, May 1, at 7 p.m.  La Tanisha Wright, an anti-tobacco activist, is the speaker and will talk about tobacco marketing. The event will be held at Long Branch Baptist Church, which is located at 28 Bolt Street, Greenville, SC.

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