Senators Urge Administration to Finalize E-Cig Regs

Letter to President Obama says "we are well past" deadline

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)

WASHINGTON -- In a letter to President Obama, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) joined U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) in urging the administration to review and finalize regulations for tobacco products, which may include electronic cigarettes and e-hookahs, "without further delay."

"In light of the novel products that threaten to addict more youth to nicotine, we ask you to urge the … Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to swiftly release the deeming regulations that it received on Oct. 1, 2013. We are particularly concerned about the risk of addiction posed by new nicotine-based products such as e-cigarettes and 'e-hookahs'," they said in the letter.

By Executive Order, the OIRA has 90 days to complete review of regulations, with a possible extension of no more than 30 days. "We are well past that," the senators said in the letter. "While we understand that OIRA is dealing with a number of deadlines, we urge you not to compound the delays that have already occurred over the years since the passage of the Family Smoking Prevention & Tobacco Control Act of 2009."

They continued, "Many of us have spoken with Food & Drug Administration [FDA] commissioner Margaret Hamburg and Center for Tobacco Products [CTP] director Mitch Zeller about the urgent need for deeming regulations. We were pleased to see the proposed regulations move from their jurisdiction to OIRA. We hope that you will prioritize the review of these regulations so that we work together to advance appropriate regulatory oversight of e-cigarettes."

Click here to read the full text of the letter.

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