Since 2010, the Food and Drug Administration has been debating how to regulate the sale of e-cigarettes. The FDA should hurry up. These battery-powered devices, which heat a nicotine solution and create an inhalable vapor, are exploding in popularity – driven mostly by a tobacco industry in search of new addicts.
Addiction itself does lie at the heart of the FDA’s dilemma about regulating e-cigarettes. Should the agency assume that millions of Americans choose to be nicotine addicts, with the federal role simply to make the use of electronic cigarettes as safe as possible? Or should the FDA see this powerful addiction as inherently wrong, both for individuals and society, with the government helping people avoid or overcome it?
Several countries already ban the sale of e-cigarettes, a wise course for the FDA. They see the electronic devices as delivering a drug with no use, even if it does not…
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