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The American Medical Association has adopted a new policy opposing the sale and marketing of electronic cigarettes and nicotine-delivery products to minors. The new policy, adopted last month at the organization's Annual Meeting, extends the AMA's existing policy from 2010 that called for all electronic cigarettes to be subject to the same regulations and oversight that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration applies to tobacco and nicotine products.

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


Data show that electronic cigarette use among middle school and high school age students has more than doubled from 2011 to 2012 (OT 10/10/13 issue).


The new policy supports the following product requirements for electronic cigarettes and nicotine- delivery systems (in addition to minimum age restrictions for purchasing):


* Disclosures regarding the design, content, and emissions;


* Child-proof and tamper-proof packaging and design;


* Enhanced product labeling;


* Restrictions related to flavors that appeal to minors; and


* Prohibition of unsupported marketing claims as a tobacco cessation tool.



The news release notes that the AMA also strongly encourages further development of strategies to prevent marketing of electronic cigarettes and nicotine-delivery systems to minors and help stem the negative health effects of nicotine on minors.