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Topics in Public Policy: E-Cigarettes

Defining E-Cigarettes

Often designed to look like traditional cigarettes, "e-cigarettes" deliver flavors and/or nicotine to their user in a vapor form as opposed to smoke. Although manufacturers of these products tout their products as being safer than smoking and/or an aid to quitting traditional cigarettes, the jury is still out scientifically.

The FDA and E-Cigarettes

As it currently stands, the FDA does not have any authority over E-Cigarettes the way it does with traditional tobacco products. This may change soon - the FDA has proposed new rules to extend its authority to a much wider range of tobacco products. According to the FDA, "Once the proposed rule becomes final, FDA will be able to use powerful regulatory tools, such as age restrictions and rigorous scientific review of new tobacco products and claims to reduce tobacco-related disease and death."

Researching E-Cigarette Policy

Because e-cigarettes are a relatively new development, there aren't a great deal of books on the subject. However, you will find useful information on the regulation of e-cigarettes in several of our databases. Try searching Ebsco or the Points of View Reference Center for regulation AND e-cigarettes, for information about the debate. Additionally, a growing number of scientific studies, along with more policy information can be found by searching health-oriented databases such as CINAHL.

Need Additional Assistance?

Help is available! Contact Cathy Dwyer, Subject Librarian for Public Policy, at (518) 442-3698 or - or drop in during office hours on Mondays, from 5-8pm.

Blog Created By: Rebekah Jarvis-Girtler
Image Credit: The FDA

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