FDA au­tho­rizes sale of e-cig­a­rettes for the first time, shift­ing de­bate and draw­ing fire from crit­ics

For the first time, the FDA on Tues­day au­tho­rized to­bac­co com­pa­nies to mar­ket elec­tron­ic cig­a­rettes.

Reg­u­la­tors au­tho­rized three prod­ucts in a sim­i­lar fash­ion as they would with phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, al­though this time it was for long­time to­bac­co com­pa­ny RJ Reynolds.

The au­tho­riza­tions were for a va­p­ing de­vice and as­so­ci­at­ed to­bac­co-fla­vored pods, with FDA say­ing the ben­e­fits in wean­ing long­time smok­ers off tra­di­tion­al cig­a­rettes out­weighed the risks of get­ting younger peo­ple ad­dict­ed. The agency em­pha­sized it is on­ly au­tho­riz­ing prod­ucts that taste like to­bac­co, rather than fla­vored pods more ap­peal­ing to kids and teenagers, such as can­dy, mint and fruit.

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