Policy Documents

The Leaflet: FDA Begins Regulating E-Cigarettes

April 24, 2014

 FDA Begins Regulating E-Cigarettes

After announcing it would regulate electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) three years ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today took the first step toward exercising that authority. During that time period the sale of e-cigarettes has increased exponentially and some states and municipalities moved forward with their own regulations.
 
The proposed regulations will ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, require warning labels on products, and impose FDA approval before new products can be sold and marketed, among others. Jeff Stier, risk analysis director for the National Center for Public Policy Research, responded by observing that the proposal calls for some sensible policy recommendations, such as banning sales to minors. However, it also leaves the door open for future regulations that may be counterproductive or harmful to those who use a product the American Association of Public Health Physicians has concluded could “save the lives of 4 million of the 8 million current adult American smokers.”
 
Stier notes, “The devil will be in the details of future regulatory decisions. If the regulations are too heavy-handed, they’ll have the deadly effect of preventing smokers from quitting by switching to these dramatically less harmful alternatives. One silver lining: some city and state legislatures have been using the lack of federal regulations as an excuse to institute their own draconian regulations, from public use bans to outright bans on flavored e-liquid. It will be harder to justify those bans now that the FDA is asserting federal oversight.”
 
Heartland Research Fellow Gregory Conley said, “Lawmakers should resist calls from activist groups to place undue regulations and taxes on this growing industry. Imposing burdensome tobacco taxes and regulations on a product many anti-smoking public health advocates endorse as a way to greatly reduce the toll of smoking is neither sound tax policy nor a wise health policy.”

 

Budget & Tax

Over the past five years, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have emerged as a popular alternative for smokers looking to quit or substantially reduce their cigarette use. In this Research & Commentary, Research Fellow Gregory Conley outlines the potential harm that could be caused by imposing unnecessary regulations and taxes on e-cigarettes. Read More

Energy & Environment

The United States government has pursued energy policies based on “the mistaken belief in the unproven science that claims carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from burning of fossil fuels is the major cause of recent and future warming of the Earth,” write naval veterans Admiral Thomas B. Hayward, Vice Admiral Edward S. Briggs, and Captain Donald K. Forbes in a new report for The Heartland Institute. In Climate Change, Energy Policy, and National Power, Hayward, Briggs, and Forbes call for the adoption of a balanced strategic energy policy that emphasizes the private sector and begins with fossil fuel extraction, production, and distribution “unfettered by excessive regulation, elimination of government subsidies to industry, and refinery expansion. Read More

Education
 
In School Choice Weekly, Research Fellow Joy Pullman called attention to school choice programs in Louisiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin that are being attacked from behind by state lawmakers and the Obama administration through new regulations. Read More
 
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Telecom
 
In this Research & Commentary, Government Relations Coordinator Alex Monahan examines the onerous federal prohibition of Internet gambling. Federal prohibition is unnecessary because many states already regulate gambling and should be allowed to assert their authority in this matter. Legalizing online gambling would bring in considerable tax revenue to the states, increase competition in the domestic gambling industry, and provide consumers with safe and reliable online gambling options. Read More
 
Health Care
 
What will be the political ramifications of Obamacare? Senior Fellow Benjamin Domenech considers that question in this week’s Consumer Power Report, where he examines the potential fallout of Obamacare on this year’s upcoming midterm elections and beyond. Domenech concludes, “The real question isn’t whether the opponents are more mobilized than the beneficiaries (they clearly are, at least for this cycle) – or whether the opponents outnumber the beneficiaries (they clearly do, at least for this cycle). It’s whether the beneficiaries even view themselves as beneficiaries of Obamacare.” Read More
 
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From Our Free-Market Friends
 
Medicaid is the largest health insurance provider in the United States. Unfortunately it has proven to be a program that is flawed and inefficient. In light of that reality, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University recently released a publication titled The Economics of Medicaid: Assessing the Costs and Consequences. The book is a collection of essays that serves as the Medicaid textbook that was never written, a breakdown of everything you wanted to know about the program and proposals for sustainable reform. Read More
 

The April issue of Budget & Tax News reports the Tax Reform Act of 2014, proposed by U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), would reduce the number of tax “loopholes” while making it easier for individuals to complete their own tax returns confidently and accurately. The bold measure received a tepid response from House and Senate leaders.

Environment & Climate News

School Reform News