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The FDA Says E-Cigarettes Are Less Harmful Than Smoking

The government’s chief Tobacco regulator told Congress today that e-cigarettes are almost certainly healthier than tobacco, that much more research needs to be done, but that it needs to regulate them now anyway.

“If we could get all of those people [who smoke] to completely switch all of their cigarettes to noncombustible cigarettes, it would be good for public health,” Mitch Zeller, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products said today at a hearing that could help determine the fate of e-cigarettes in the United States.

But that’s not stopping the agency from asking Congress for the Authority to restrict the products now—regardless of whether the health impact is positive or negative. The FDA official told the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions that it has “far more questions than answers” when it comes to the effects of e-cigs on the people who use them, but that its current existence outside the FDA’s Regulatory authority is unacceptable.

“We don’t need to have the answers to those questions to have regulatory authority,” Zeller said. The FDA is currently funding “dozens” of scientific studies to find out, he said. However it’s basing regulatory decisions on a “guilty until proven innocent” mindset in the meantime.

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The FDA Says E-Cigarettes Are Less Harmful Than Smoking


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