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Reports US

US stock market daily report (April 24, 2014, Thursday)

April 24, 2014, Thursday, 22:00 GMT | 17:00 EST | 01:30 IST | 04:00 SGT
Contributed by Millennium Traders

Former cigarette smokers who switched to electronic cigarettes to kick the habit, are facing the fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working on stiffer regulations for electronic cigarettes. It is a proven fact that cigarette smoking can kill, yet millions of Americans continue to smoke. The U.S. government has no ban on smoking - even with proof that they kill - other than you must be at least 18+ to purchase cigarettes. There is no proof as of yet that electronic cigarettes cause physical harm, when used properly.

In 2008, electronic cigarette sales were approximately 50,000. As of 2012, electronic cigarette sales surged to nearly 3.5 million.

Liquid used in e-cigarettes, referred to as e-juice or e-liquid contains a solution of propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), and/or polyethylene glycol 400 (PEG400) mixed with concentrated flavors and generally contains some concentration of nicotine - all FDA approved for human consumption. The e-juice or e-liquid used for e-cigarettes is not meant for human consumption - just like smokers would not chew on a cigarette.

Propylene glycol is an organic compound - considered safe for human consumption by the FDA, is a clear, colorless, nearly odorless, consists of a mild sweet flavor, hygroscopic and miscible with water, acetone and chloroform.

Vegetable Glycerin is an organic compound of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, created from vegetable oil. Classified as a carbohydrate, it is approved for human consumption by the FDA.

Polyethylene glycol 400 is used as an inactive ingredient in the pharmaceutical industry as a solvent, plasticizer, surfactant, ointment and suppository base. It has a low toxicity with absorption in humans of less than 0.5%.

Potential regulations for e-cigarettes from FDA would include health warnings pertaining to the potential addition to nicotine, the prohibited sale in vending machines and companies would be prohibited from giving out free samples. Manufacturers would be required to register all their products and ingredients with the FDA. New products would face FDA review prior to offering them for sale to the public. Scientific evidence would be required before e-cigarette manufacturers could make claims of direct or implied risk reduction associated with their product. After the public comment period and the proposed rules are finalized, manufacturers will have 24 months to submit an application to allow their products to remain on the market or submit a new product application.

FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg said, "It's really the wild, wild west out there. Because e-cigarettes are increasingly in the marketplace. They're coming in different sizes, shapes and flavors in terms of the nicotine in them, and there's very worrisome data that show that young people in particular are starting to take up e-cigarettes, especially the flavored ones and that might be a gateway to other harmful tobacco products." Another reason the FDA is looking for regulation is due to the enormous number of e-cigarettes on the market. Hamburg said, "We're already conducting research and working with partners in the research community to better understand patterns of use of these e-cigarettes and to learn more about the way in which they work and the delivery of the nicotine through e-cigarettes. But until we can really regulate them, we can't have all the information we need and we can't take all the actions that we might want to to be able to best address the public health issues associated with them." As for the safety of e-cigarettes, Hamburg says it's 'buyer beware'. Hamburg added, "We think that there's a lot of information that needs to be understood about e-cigarettes and their use. We're trying to help provide some of that information through research that we're conducting. But we need the tools that regulation provides to be able to get critical new knowledge about e-cigarettes and to be able to put in place a framework that will protect the American public and potentially e-cigarette users, and really address the issues of what are the health consequences and what are the potential benefits."

Matthew Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said in February, "Responsibly marketed and properly regulated, it is possible that e-cigarettes could benefit public health if they help significantly reduce the number of people who use conventional cigarettes and die of tobacco-related disease."

According to Dr. Michael Eriksen, dean of the School of Public Health at Georgia State University, one of 14 U.S. institutions conducting FDA-funded research on electronic cigarettes said, "How concentrated is liquid nicotine? Are there impurities in it? Is it properly handled like a pesticide?" he says. "Nicotine is a pesticide fundamentally and we take so many precautions about pesticides for our lawns and how to wear gloves. But what precautions do consumers take when they put the nicotine vials in? People treat it [liquid nicotine] as sugar when it's a toxin." There are a great deal of questions that remain unanswered about e-juice.