E-cigarette Rule Coming ‘Very Soon,’ U.S. FDA Chief Says

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is “pushing very hard” to release a proposed rule that would establish its authority over e-cigarettes, the head of the agency said on Thursday amid concerns the products pose a risk to children.

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg told senators at a Congressional budget hearing that it has taken too long to move the rule forward and that she expects the proposal to be ready for release “very soon.”

The FDA’s proposal is currently being examined by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, which reviews potential regulations to assess their economic impact. OMB, which has been reviewing the proposal for roughly five months, has not said when it will be finished with its assessment.

A growing chorus of public health advocates and lawmakers are pressing for prompt release of the proposal, arguing that the delay presents risks to children who may be attracted to the sweet flavors often contained in e-cigarettes.