U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia Judge Richard J. Leon has determined that electronic cigarettes are tobacco products and thereby ruled that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cannot block their importation, says a story in the Washington Post.
The Post says that the FDA had confiscated the importation of e-cigarettes since at least 2008, but that two suppliers of the e-ciggies sued.
The Post quotes from the Judge's opinion that, "This case appears to be yet another example of FDA's aggressive efforts to regulate recreational tobacco products as drugs or devices."
The opinion, which is fascinating to read, also makes it very clear that the two e-cigarette suppliers who brought suit are apparently more than happy to keep e-cigarette smokers hooked on nicotine, and that they have little intention of helping smokers quit. In fact, if the suppliers had heavily advertised their products as smoking cessation products, the FDA would have had a much stronger case to ban their importation or at least regulate them.
There are also other dangers with e-cigarettes the FDA says, as I noted last year.
And I still think they look like someone is smoking a small flashlight.
Robert N. Charette is a Contributing Editor to IEEE Spectrum and an acknowledged international authority on information technology and systems risk management. A self-described “risk ecologist,” he is interested in the intersections of business, political, technological, and societal risks. Charette is an award-winning author of multiple books and numerous articles on the subjects of risk management, project and program management, innovation, and entrepreneurship. A Life Senior Member of the IEEE, Charette was a recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Golden Core Award in 2008.