E-cigarettes have joined cigars and pipe tobacco as unregulated tobacco products, clearing the way for mainstream stores to beginselling the electronic devices.
Last year, a U.S. federal court ruled that as long as electronic cigarettes aren’t marketed as a way to treat or cure disease, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has no authority to block the importation of the battery-powered products.
On Monday, the FDA announced it would not appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Sebastian Cangemi, president of Liberty Stix, a Mayfield Heights-based manufacturer and distributor of E-cigarettes, credits the court decision with most likely saving his business that was formerly located in Willoughby.
“Smokers will now have access to a product that is a great alternative to traditional tobacco. And as the industry evolves, it will become an alternative that will change the entire world’s smoking habits,” Cangemi said.
“The majority of sane, anti-smoking advocates will also agree that this alternative, while initially pigeonholed as a substandard product, will soon become the norm.”
The FDA has indicated that it plans to propose regulations for the smoke-free nicotine alternatives.
Cangemi said Liberty Stix welcomes case-by-case regulation, adding that he believes his company makes the only American pre-filled cartridge.
Sellers of E-cigs say they are odorless, flameless and contain none of the carbon monoxide, tar, tobacco, smoke or cancer-causing agents found in regular cigarettes.
The FDA argued that the safety of E-cigs has not been proven, so they should be regulated as drug devices rather than a tobacco product.
Federal officials had been seizing shipments of electronic cigarettes amid concerns that the products were being marketed as safer alternatives to traditional tobacco.
By Tracey, [email protected]