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WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration made final sweeping new rules that for the first time extend federal regulatory authority to e-cigarettes, popular nicotine delivery devices that have grown into a multibillion-dollar business with virtually no federal oversight or protections for American consumers.

The 499-page regulatory road map has broad implications for public health, the tobacco industry and the nation’s 40 million smokers. The new regulations would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to Americans under 18 and would require that people buying them show photo identification to prove their age, measures already mandated in a number of states. The rules also impose regulations on cigars.

The regulations, which will take effect in 90 days, establish oversight of what has been a market free-for-all of products, including vials of liquid nicotine of varying quality and unknown provenance. Producing them has taken years. They stem from a major tobacco-control law Congress passed in 2009. They were first proposed in draft form in 2014.

“The process has started, and it has been incredibly difficult,” said Matthew Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a health advocacy group. “This gives the F.D.A. the authority right away to prohibit some of the most outrageous marketing claims. It imposes nationwide rules that makes it illegal to sell to kids under 18 with real enforcement authority.”

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Image: By TBEC Review – E-Cigarette/Electronic Cigarette/E-Cigs/E-Liquid/Vaping/Cloud Chasing, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40781052

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