With sales of electronic cigarettes rising sharply, regulators are mulling the expansion of traditional rules governing tobacco products to cover the devices.
That could impede tobacco company efforts to promote e-cigs through sporting events and TV marketing campaigns. If the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does decide to add e-cigs to its oversight, producers would have to comply with a greater range of regulations regarding their sale, manufacturing and promotion, Bloomberg notes.
Sales of e-cigs have rise three-fold this year, hitting $1.5 billion. The devices, which use a battery-powered coil to heat liquid nicotine, producing a vapor that “smokers” inhale, do not produce smoke and have been touted as safer than traditional cigarettes. With most cigarette-makers either already marketing or currently testing e-cig products, the market for e-cigs is expected to expand dramatically in coming years.
That has drawn concerns for anti-tobacco advocates and state agencies, who question the benefits of e-cigs and have called for greater regulation.
Tobacco producers are currently preparing to post their quarterly results. Philip Morris International (PM), Reynolds American (RAI), Lorillard (LO) and Altria Group (MO) are all expected to report higher profits during the most recent quarter.