A History of Electronic Cigarette Laws in the US

Since the advent of electronic cigarettes, there has been a constant debate about whether e-cigs are tobacco products or a medical solution to help quit smoking. As a result, e-cig laws have been constantly changing, with different states employing different laws regarding their usage.

Initially the FDA classified e-cigs as drug delivery products and as such they came under the FDCA (Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act). This would allow them to ban the import of e-cigs in the country. But in 2010 the classification was challenged in court and overruled, with the judge claiming that these devices should not be regulated as medical products, but as tobacco products.

The FDA appealed the decision, citing that nicotine replacement products like nicotine patches and nicotine gum had been previously regulated under FDA laws. But their appeal was dismissed since e-cig producers had been marketing their product towards smokers and not people looking to quit smoking.

However in April 2014, the FDA introduced new legislation for tobacco products to ensure electronic cigarettes were regulated as well. According to these new electronic cigarette laws, all ingredients used in the product need to be cleared for safety.

With an absence of proper federal legislation, states have employed their own laws to deal with electronic cigarettes. In most states it is illegal to sell e-cigs to minors, while in most states smoking inside enclosed spaces is prohibited.