FDA's new e-cigarette regulations target 'healthier than tobacco' claims

Proposals to officially regulate electronic cigarettes will be announced later today by the Food and Drug Administration, according to the WSJ. The regulations would include a ban on sales to minors and a requirement for health warning labels on packaging. E-cigarettes contain nicotine liquid, which is derived from tobacco -- and that's where the FDA comes in.

"Right now it's like the wild, wild west in terms of what people are doing.."

Importantly, makers would not be allowed to state that e-cigarettes are safer than other tobacco products ( manufacturers need to provide scientific evidence to prove these claims), nor use descriptive language like "light" or "mild" to describe goods. Companies will also be required to submit a "pre-market review application" within two years, although products will be allowed to stay on the market as long as the application is filed. Outlines will also restrict marketing on TV and any efforts to appeal to anyone under 18, although they won't immediately ban the wealth of flavored e-cigarettes that have recently flourished. FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg told ABC News: "Right now it's like the wild, wild west in terms of what people are doing, the products are evolving with no regulatory oversight and being marketed in ways that are very worrisome." The full list of regulations will be posted online by the FDA at 9am today.