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Senators warn of secondhand risks from e-cigarettes

 

Democratic senators have asked the Food and Drug Administration to take into consideration the potential secondhand harm from e-cigarettes as the agency writes rules to regulate the products.

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In a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, eight Democrats pointed to two recent studies that show e-cigarette byproducts such as formaldehyde could harm not just those inhaling the tobacco product, but also those around them.

”Because many of the same limitations on smoking in public spaces do not apply universally to e-cigarettes and other advanced nicotine delivery products, these products put at risk not only adults and youth who use these devices, but potentially also those who are involuntary exposed to secondhand vapors,” the senators wrote.

The FDA is currently working on a rule that would bring tobacco products such as e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, nicotine gels, hookahs and dissolvable tobacco products under its purview. The agency already regulates products that account for about 25 cents of every consumer dollar spent in the U.S.

If the rule is finalized, the manufacturers of e-cigarettes would have to register with the agency and list their ingredients. They would also need to get FDA approval before marketing new products.

While e-cigarette companies claim their products can help people quit traditional cigarettes, the rule would also require them to provide research before making such claims.

"This proposed rule is the latest step in our efforts to make the next generation tobacco-free," said Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusLeaked email: Podesta pushed Tom Steyer for Obama’s Cabinet Romney: Trump victory 'very possible' Fighting for assisted living facilities MORE, the outgoing secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Stakeholders can voice their opinion on the FDA’s new rule on regulations.gov until July 9. So far the docket has received almost 3,400 comments.

The senators who signed the letter to the FDA were Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyGreens slam Trump’s Interior Department pick Senate sends annual defense bill to Obama's desk Overnight Cybersecurity: Fed agency IT report cards | Senate Dems push for briefing on Russia hacks MORE (D-Mass.), Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownWeek ahead in defense: Anticipation builds for State pick; Pentagon chief's last trip abroad Manchin urging colleagues to block funding bill as shutdown looms Democrats tamp down talk of shutdown MORE (D-Ohio), Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerSenate Dem blocks own bill over California drought language House passes water bill with Flint aid, drought relief Fight over water bill heats up in Senate MORE (D-Calif.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyOvernight Energy: Fight over miners' benefits risks shutdown | Flint aid crosses finish line in House Senate sends annual defense bill to Obama's desk Dem senator: Trump’s EPA pick is ‘corruption’ MORE (D-Ore.), Jack ReedJack ReedBudowsky: Did Putin elect Trump? This Week in Cybersecurity: Dems press for information on Russian hacks A Cabinet position for Petraeus; disciplinary actions for Broadwell after affair MORE (D-R.I.), Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalOvernight Tech: AT&T, Time Warner CEOs defend merger before Congress | More tech execs join Trump team | Republican details path to undoing net neutrality Overnight Energy: Trump taps EPA foe to head agency | Energy reform bill officially dead CNN’s parent company promises to defend journalistic independence MORE (D-Conn.), Tom HarkinTom HarkinGrassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream Do candidates care about our health or just how much it costs? MORE (D-Iowa) and Dick DurbinDick DurbinSenators move to protect 'Dreamers' Manchin urging colleagues to block funding bill as shutdown looms The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Ill.).