Opinion

Feedback & Followups - June 2014

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FDA announces proposals for regulating e-cigarettes
In late April, the Food and Drug Administration announced proposed regulations for electronic cigarettes.

The announcement broke after the May issue of Virginia Business went to press. The cover story examined plans by Henrico County-based Altria Group Inc. to begin national sales of its electronic cigarette, MarkTen.  The online version of the story on VirginiaBusiness.com was updated to include the FDA announcement.

The proposed regulations include a ban on sales to minors and an end to the distribution of free samples. Manufacturers would have to disclose the ingredients of e-cigarettes and place labels on their products warning that nicotine can be addictive.

Electronic cigarette makers also would be required to obtain FDA approval within two years to keep their current products on the market. Any health claims would have to be substantiated by scientific evidence.

At least for now, the restrictions do not include bans on advertising and Internet sales or the use of flavors that critics say attract young users.

The regulations are scheduled to become final after a 75-day comment period.

 

More than 216,000 sign up for health care; legislative deadlock continues
The final count on Virginians signing up for health insurance plans on the new federal marketplace was more than 216,000.

That number was more than twice as many as the 103,000 who had signed up through March 1. The original goal for the commonwealth set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was 101,600.

As this issue went to press in mid-May, the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates remained deadlocked over expansion of health coverage under Marketplace Virginia, a private option using Medicaid funds.

In the May issue, Virginia Business looked at how the debate was straining traditional political alliances.


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