Restricting the Sale of All Electronic Cigarette Devices
On September 10, 2019, the Richmond City Council will take a final vote on the mayor’s proposed policy to restrict the sale of electronic cigarettes in the City of Richmond. These devices deliver nicotine in an aerosolized or vaporized form and are at the center of a growing health crisis as officials are reporting an uptick in sudden lung illnesses. If approved by the City Council, the proposed policy, which is an extension of existing flavored tobacco regulations, would restrict the sale of any electronic cigarette device pending the required FDA public health review.
Overview of Existing Regulations
The City Council adopted changes to the Tobacco Retailer License regulations which took effect on April 17, 2019 and are being actively enforced by the Richmond Police Department:
Banned the sale of menthol and other flavored tobacco products; and
Established a minimum pack size for little cigars and cigars; and
Imposed location requirements on new tobacco retailers
New Proposed Regulations
Expand restricted products to include electronic cigarette devices or delivery systems which:
Can be used to consume nicotine in aerosolized or vaporized form; and
Are “new tobacco products” which require FDA premarket review and have not been issued an order approving their marketing
FDA Premarket Review
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for conducting a premarket review of all “new tobacco products” not on the market as of February 15, 2007. This determines risks and benefits to public health (e.g. increased addiction and usage rates). Nearly all e-cigarettes have not obtained a premarket review order. Therefore, there exist unknown concentrations of harmful chemicals and nicotine.