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Doctors' Group Calls for Tougher Rules on Sale of E-Cigarettes

American Medical Association recommendations include minimum age purchase rule, flavor restrictions

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TUESDAY, June 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association on Tuesday called for tighter restrictions on the sale and marketing of electronic cigarettes.

Among the new recommendations coming from the largest doctors' group in the United States are a minimum age purchase rule; child-proof and tamper-proof packaging; restrictions on flavors that appeal to young people; more extensive product labels; and a ban on unsupported claims that the devices help people quit smoking.

The group also wants the federal government to force e-cigarette makers to provide details about the design, content and emissions of the devices, and to boost efforts to prevent marketing of e-cigarettes to minors.

The use of e-cigarettes by middle school and high school students in the United States rose from 3.3 percent in 2011 to 6.8 percent in 2012, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new AMA policy extends the group's existing policy that was adopted in 2010 and calls for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to subject all e-cigarettes to the same regulations and oversight applied to tobacco and nicotine products.

"The AMA supports an FDA proposal to fill the gap in federal regulations on purchasing, labeling, packaging and advertising of electronic cigarettes," incoming AMA President Dr. Robert Wah said in a news release from the group.

"The new policy will guide the AMA's future efforts to strongly encourage the proposed FDA regulation as a notable and important step to improve public health and deter the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors," he added.

"Improving the health of the nation is AMA's top priority and we will continue to advocate for policies that help reduce the burden of preventable diseases like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, which can both be linked to smoking," Wah concluded.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more about e-cigarettes.

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