For the first time, the federal government will regulate the booming electronic cigarette industry, under a proposal being announced Thursday.

The Food and Drug Administration wants to ban sales of e-cigarettes to minors, require approval for new products, and require health warning labels. Companies would also be banned from making health-related claims without scientific evidence.

E-cigarettes are battery powered devices that heat liquid nicotine into vapor that the user inhales, and are promoted as an alternative to cigarettes made from tobacco. They have grown into a nearly $2 billion a year industry.

The proposal does not ban flavors in e-cigarettes, something critics claim is used to attract younger users. It also does not stop marketing and online sales, although the agency could still propose additional restrictions.

What kind of restrictions and regulations do you think should be put into place? Are they needed at all? Share your comments below, and watch for them on WBZ News in the Morning from 4:30 to 7:00 a.m.


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