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E-Cigarette Business Booming as FDA Proposes New Regulations

Updated: 04/24/2014 4:25 PM
Created: 04/24/2014 5:00 PM WDIO.com

Regulating the sale and use of electronic cigarettes is the goal of new rules proposed by the Food and Drug Administration Thursday.

If approved, e-cigarette sales would be banned to people under age 18, a warning label would be placed on the devices, and manufacturers would be required to tell the FDA what's in their products.

Joe Savelkoul is the general manager at the ECig Crib on Tower Avenue in Superior. He tells Eyewitness News that he's OK with regulation, as long as the rules don't have a negative impact on business. He already doesn't sell to minors.

According to Savelkoul, the number of people visiting the business since it opened in November of 2013 has been increasing. "Every month we've been here we've grown our customer base," he said. 

He said many use the e-cigarettes he sells to kick the traditional tobacco habit. "They're just tired of a lot of things with traditional tobacco. Whether it's the cost, paying $7 to $8 per day, or the health risks."

Savelkoul calls e-cigarettes a great alternative to smoking tobacco, with fewer health risks. He said the product doesn't use tobacco, and using the device doesn't create carcinogens. However, there is intense debate over whether they act as a gateway to traditional cigarettes, and if they're actually safer.

"We need to understand about whether those kids that are using e-cigs are going on to use regular cigarettes as well," FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said. "We don't have the answers we need about e-cigs and their role in the marketplace and their role in health and disease."

The industry and public have 75 days to comment before the FDA issues a final rule.

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