FDA to oversee all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes - WDRB 41 Louisville News

FDA to oversee all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - Researchers say that they still don't know the effects of long-term e-cigarette use. 

The product has boomed in popularity over the last couple of years and Dr. Daniel Conklin has been working to learn more. "We exposed animals for 12 weeks to electronic cigarette aerosol," he explained.

The University of Louisville professor of medicine says his study revealed that exposure to e-cigarettes increased heart disease in mice. "In a sensible place, we would not allow such a large number of products to emerge on the market without any control over them," he said about e-cigarettes. 

Conklin calls new Food and Drug Administration regulations long overdue. On Thursday, federal officials announced that they will ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, which is already a state law in Kentucky and Indiana. 

The FDA will also oversee what's become a multi-billion dollar industry.

"Manufacturers of newly-regulated products will be required to show just what is in the products and that they're suitable for the marketplace," said U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell.

Those in favor of e-cigarettes say buyers can choose how much nicotine they want to use and wean themselves off regular cigarettes or quit altogether. 

"We are gonna fight this," Troy LeBlanc said about the regulations. LeBlanc owns five e-cigarette stores in Kentuckiana and also manufactures the liquid used with the product. 

He says he's in favor of some regulation, but thinks this goes overboard.

LeBlanc says it will be hard to keep his business afloat and also meet expensive FDA requirements. "Pretty much, they're taking it out of the hands of small businesses and they're putting it into the hands of large corporations," he told WDRB News.

FDA regulations will also apply to products such as hookah, cigars and pipe tobacco.

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