WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined five of his Senate colleagues in sending a letter to U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg highlighting a new study that found that electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) vapor can contain formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. The senators also called on the FDA to finalize regulations for e-cigarettes, which have been pending with the agency for over a year. Brown joined Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Ed Markey (D-MA).
“As researchers discover more risks attributed to the use of e-cigs and related products for both users and bystanders, it becomes even more important for the FDA to take swift action,” Brown said. “E-cigarette vapor puts both users and those around them at potential risk. I urge Commissioner Hamburg to expedite the process and finalize the FDA’s deeming regulations over e-cigarettes.”
Brown continues to fight Big Tobacco’s attempts to replace the 480,000 customers it loses to tobacco related deaths each year. In April 2014, Brown and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) met with FDA Commissioner Hamburg to urge the agency to do everything in its power to expand its oversight of Big Tobacco in order to protect consumers from the dangers of e-cigs and ensure they aren’t being marketed to children.
Shortly after their meeting, the FDA announced that it was releasing “deeming regulations” over e-cigs and other tobacco products. The new regulations would ban the sale of e-cigs to Americans under 18, and would require that people buying them show photo identification to prove their age, measures already mandated in a number of states. However, almost nine months later, the FDA’s final regulations have not yet been released. Brown therefore continues to urge the Administration to strengthen and expedite its regulations over e-cigs and their components in order to protect children and make Ohioans healthier.