BOSTON (CBS) — They come in all kinds of colors and flavors…in the shape of a cigarette. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley says the rising popularity of electronic cigarettes is raising serious health concerns. That’s why she is among 40 Attorneys General who signed a letter to the FDA asking for stricter regulations on e-cigarettes.
Read: Letter To The FDA
“We are very concerned with the introduction of a new product unregulated that would get a whole new generation of Americans potentially hooked on nicotine,” says Coakley. Currently there are no federal age restrictions on who can buy e-cigarettes, and many are packaged in fruit and candy flavors such as gummy bear and bubble gum. A recent study shows use among high schoolers is rising at an alarming rate, contributing to a projected $1.7 billion in sales for 2013.
E-cigarette manufacturers say it’s a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes, because it delivers nicotine through an aerosol vapor mist, instead of tar. Others are concerned it could increase nicotine addiction. “We don’t know what the risks are,” says Coakley.
Some cities and towns have already limited e-cigarettes on a local level, and state lawmakers are also considering proposed legislation to regulate them.