E-cigarettes need to establish efficacy and safety - FIRST..

March 24, 2009 - New Jersey Senator Frank R. Lautenberg is asking the government to prevent the sale of so-called "electronic cigarettes" until more is known about them.

E-cigarettes are marketed as a healthier alternative to smoking and as a way to kick the habit. They are smokeless and battery-powered, releasing a nicotine vapor into the lungs. Senator Lautenberg wrote the FDA Monday (3/23/2009) warning that there have been no clinical studies verifying such claims or assessing their long-term health effects.

Approval of e-cigarettes by the FDA is needed to justify its efficacy and safety prior to selling the product in the United States. New products containing nicotine have been pushed to the marketplace in recent months without the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Already with the growing nationwide push to ban indoor smoking, some e-cigarette manufacturers have been selling their product as legal to use in restaurants, bars, shopping malls and airplanes. Lautenberg: "I believe the FDA must take immediate action to take these products off the market" until they can be tested."

E-Cigarettes Lack Evidence of Health Benefits..

An FDA spokeswoman says the agency will respond directly to the senator regarding his concerns.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids applauded Senator Frank Lautenberg's call for the Food and Drug Administration to exert its authority and immediately remove e-cigarettes from the market..

Reference: US Senator: Pull plug on electronic cigarettesby KIMBERLY HEFLING, Associated Press, 3/24/2009.