Opinions vary on FDA announcing regulation of e-cigs - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Opinions vary on FDA announcing regulation of e-cigs

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Several North Texas cities have regulated e-cigarettes, and now the federal government will, too.

The regulations are starting out fairly tame, making e-cigs off limits to kids. However, physicians are saying the FDA is only getting warmed up.

"I don't think smoking for minors is a good idea, and I think they should be regulated,” said Fallon Lawrence.

Lawrence swears by e-cigarettes and credits them with kicking her tobacco habit.

"I feel a lot better,” she said. “My taste buds have come back."

But the e-cigs, which have exploded in popularity over the past two years, still carry a lot of unknowns.

Concerns have been raised from Congress and public health groups about possible health risks.

Cities like Watauga, Bedford and Flower Mound have banned the sale of e-cigs to minors. North Richland Hills is considering it, and several North Texas school districts have banned them all together.

So, the FDA is starting with a proposed ban on e-cig sales to minors. Then, it will require approval for new products, followed by warning labels for the vapor-making devices.

"The amount of other things that are in this vapors is unknown, is unregulated, it is not reported nobody has to say and nobody is saying what they have in their formulas,” said Doctor Mark Koch.

Koch sits on the board of the American Cancer Society and says the regulations are a necessary step.

He says the sweet flavors of some e-cigs are too tempting to kids.

"These are intentionally inviting children to become addicted to nicotine, and in the process, setting them up for a lifelong battle in having to buy these substances,” he said.

The e-cig heats a liquid nicotine solution instead of burning tobacco, and the vapor it creates is then inhaled.

Koch says more regulations need to come backed by research.

In shops like Create A Cig in Fort Worth, sales to minors are voluntarily banned, and success stories from longtime tobacco users are numerous.

"It completely like changed everything for me athletic-wise,” said e-cig user Makenzie Munnally. “I was able to breathe better and work out longer."

Koch says the American Cancer Society does not endorse e-cigs as a way to stop smoking.

The regulations will be phased in over the next two years.

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