The FDA is trying to assume control of the growing market for e-cigarettes.
Now, the question seems to be whether e-cigarettes help people quit -- or are hooking a whole new generation of smokers. Though they've been made and sold in China for 30 years, Dr. Rima Gidwani says there have been no long-term studies to determine their effect on a person’s health.
“Nobody has looked at, with these cigarettes that had a trace amount of arsenic, what are the effects a month from now, five months from now, five years from now,” Dr. Gidwani says. “That has not been done.”
The pulmonologist at U.T. Health Science Center says it's important to know what trace elements are in e-cigarettes. The FDA wants to ban their sale to minors and require warning labels and a list of ingredients.
“There's all kinds of trace elements that are not reported on the label that are in these cigarettes,” she says. “Trace elements can be things like arsenic or other things not approved for human consumption.”