Attorneys general call on FDA to regulate e-cigarettes - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Attorneys general call on FDA to regulate e-cigarettes

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The FDA is being asked to regulate electronic cigarettes, frequently referred to as e-cigarettes.

A letter from several attorneys general, including Nevada's, urged restrictions on advertisements and requested that an age limit be placed on purchases.

"This is vapor, so it's not as damaging to your lungs or your throat or your vocal cords," said e-cigarette user Victoria Reynolds.

Reynolds said she is a believer in the power of the e-cigarette. She said that the product doesn't leave her with the tobacco smell associated with traditional cigarettes and has improved her quality of life.

"I've noticed my breathing in the past four months of using this has increased significantly. I'm not huffing and puffing at all," another e-cigarette user, Ryan McMillian, said.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered. Liquid nicotine gets heated into a vapor. The product comes in several different flavors, including gummy bear and bubble gum.

The product is so far unregulated.

Attorneys general are now asking for restrictions and product testing.

"I think the government is just seeing how big it really is, and they want their piece. I think it's all about money," said Up in Vapor, LLC, owner Justin Sposito.

Sposito opened Up in Vapor a few months ago. He said he doesn't sell to minors and that business is booming, smokers realizing they can be weaned off cigarettes by the relatively new product.

"Your body's craving the nicotine, so the e-cigarette's still getting you the nicotine you're craving, just without all the harmful chemicals: tar, carbon monoxide and secondhand smoke," Sposito said.

Others argue getting the FDA involved would be beneficial because kids can be enticed by products with flavors, and they could still wind up becoming addicted to nicotine.

"I think it's important to keep cigarettes out of the hands of children. This may get into hands easier," Las Vegas resident Ashley Henry said.

Sales of e-cigarettes have doubled every year since 2008. Sales this year are set to reach the $1.7-billion mark.

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