This Thursday a US Federal judge ordered the Food and Drug Administration to stop preventing the importing of electronic cigarettes from China and suggested that the devices should be controlled as tobacco products instead of drug or medical devices.

Judge Richard J. Leon of Federal District Court in Washington issued a preliminary injunction. The distributors of the electronic cigarette who filed a case against the FDA, say the vapor that an e-cigarette smoker inhales, contains virtually none of the cancer-causing chemicals of traditional cigarettes, but the FDA says

it has not been proved safe.

The federal judge Richard D. Leon wrote

“This case seems to be yet one more example of F.D.A.’s assertive attempts to control recreational tobacco products as drugs or devices”.

He also ruled that whereas the agency can regulate the marketing and content, it cannot regulate the importation from China.

Ray Story, vice chairman of a Florida company that filed the suit, related the ruling was a victory for smokers who need a safer cigarette.

“The public will have an a lot less damaging alternative to tobacco products,”

Mr Story announced.

The VP of a Florida company that filed the suit, recounted the ruling was a victory for smokers who need a safer cigarette.

“The public will have a much less harmful alternative to tobacco products,”

he recounted. It is estimated that the e-cigarette industry is currently a $100 million business countrywide.

Judge Leon argued that the devices should be regulated in the same way as cigarettes. He also agreed with the distributors that e-cigarettes were not marketed as medical devices to help smokers quit, as the FDA is arguing, but rather as safer substitutes to give users “the nicotine hit that smokers crave.”

Electronic cigarettes have plastic tubes, formed like cigarettes, with a a heating part to vaporise a refillable liquid nicotine blend. They have electronics to observe air flow so that when a user inhales, the device delivers a relatively harmless vapor with a taste and feel that simulates cigarette smoke. Electronic cigarettes do not have the thousands of toxins and carcinogens that are associated with normal tobacco smoking.

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