E-Cigarettes to be Regulated Under New Rules Proposed by FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new rules on Thursday that would allow the agency to regulate e-cigarettes, The New York Times reports. The proposed rules would ban the sale of e-cigarettes, cigars and pipe tobacco to anyone under age 18.

Manufacturers of e-cigarettes and cigars would have to register with the FDA, give the agency a detailed account of the products’ ingredients, describe their manufacturing process and scientific data, and submit to FDA inspections. Companies would no longer be allowed to offer free samples. E-cigarettes would be required to come with warning labels stating they contain nicotine, which is addictive. Vending machines in public places where minors are allowed could not carry e-cigarettes. The rules also ban online sales of e-cigarettes and cigars to minors.

Full story of new e-cigarette regulations at drugfree.org

Senators Find E-Cigarette Makers Are Targeting Young People

E-cigarette makers are targeting young people with free samples distributed at music and sporting events, according to an investigation by 11 Democratic members of the U.S. House and Senate. The companies are also running radio and television ads during programs aimed at young people, the lawmakers said.

They hope their report will speed the release of e-cigarette regulations by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to The New York Times. Some public health experts say e-cigarettes could help reduce the rate of regular cigarette smoking, while others are concerned the devices could encourage young people to try traditional cigarettes.

Full story of E-cigarette makers targeting young people at drugfree.org

Vermont Becomes Second State to Take Action Against Zohydro Prescribing

Following the decision by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to order a ban on prescribing and dispensing the pure hydrocodone painkiller Zohydro, Vermont’s governor announced an emergency order to make it more difficult for doctors to prescribe the drug.

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin said he joins the many critics of the drug, who are wondering more info

why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it, according to the Associated Press, “What puzzles all of us is the recent FDA action to approve a new opiate that’s stronger and likely to be even more addictive because of its strength,” he said.

Full story of Vermont and Zohydro prescribing at drugfree.org

Former Health Officials Urge Tobacco Companies to Stop Selling Menthol Cigarettes

A group of former top health officials is urging tobacco companies to stop marketing and selling menthol cigarettes. The group includes all of the living former U.S. Secretaries of Health, Surgeons General, and Directors of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The group, called the Citizens’ Commission To Protect the Truth is also calling on the Obama Administration to allow the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban menthol flavoring in cigarettes.

Full story on menthol cigarettes at drugfree.org

First Single-Ingredient Hydrocodone Drug Receives FDA Approval

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the first pure hydrocodone drug in the United States. The drug, Zohydro ER (extended release), was approved for patients with pain that requires daily, around-the-clock, long-term treatment that cannot be treated with other drugs.

Drugs such as Vicodin contain a combination of hydrocodone and other painkillers such as acetaminophen, the Associated Press reports.

In December, a panel of experts assembled by the FDA voted against recommending approval of Zohydro ER. The panel cited concerns over the potential for addiction. In the 11-2 vote against approval, the panel said that while the drug’s maker, Zogenix, had met narrow targets for safety and efficacy, the painkiller could be used by people addicted to other opioids, including oxycodone.

Patient safety advocates criticized the FDA’s decision. “We’re just going to kill more kids and then the FDA is going to come back and say, ‘oh, we made a mistake,’” said Avi Israel, whose son Michael committed suicide while struggling with painkiller addiction. Israel is the founder of a group that aims to combat painkiller abuse in young people.

Full story of hydrocodone drug and the FDA at DrugFree.org

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education