Last week the Food and Drug Administration finally published its proposed regulations for e-cigarettes, which put off important decisions for years and leave the industry's future unclear. In my latest Forbes column, I ask whether e-cigarettes will be able to win approval under the categories created by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Here is how it starts:
The first time the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) moved to regulate electronic cigarettes, it tried to ban them. Last week it took a different approach that may ultimately have a similar effect. Much will depend on whether the FDA irrationally decides to treat e-cigarettes as a menace to public health or recognizes them as a lifesaving alternative to conventional cigarettes.