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Southgate News Herald: Dingell urges FDA to finalize e-cigarette rule after roadblock averted in funding bill

Southgate News Herald

Washington, DC, December 18, 2015 | Jim Kasuba

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-12th District) is thanking negotiators for preventing a “poison-pill” policy rider from being included in the 2016 government funding bill that would have exempted electronic cigarettes from being regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Following numerous reports of injuries caused by defective e-cigarettes, Dingell wrote a letter last August to FDA Acting Commissioner Stephen Ostroff urging him to finalize a proposed rule to regulate the products as soon as possible.

One of Dingell’s constituents, Jason Diekman of Wyandotte, was among those injured this summer when an exploding vaporizer pen badly burned his arms and abdomen.

A vapor pen is described as similar to an e-cigarette, often used as a safer alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes.

“Consumers deserve to know that the products they buy are safe for use,” Dingell said. “Such assurances currently do not exist for electronic cigarettes, and I am pleased that by stopping this damaging proposal, negotiators have helped pave the way for improvements in consumer safety. Now that this roadblock has been averted, the FDA must move as quickly as possible to finalize the proposed rule and protect public health.”

The proposed rule issued by the FDA would deem electronic cigarettes to be subject to FDA authority, meaning they would be regulated in the same manner as which the agency currently regulates cigarettes.

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