WICHITA FALLS, TX - The FDA announced Thursday it will regulate e-cigarettes much like traditional cigarettes.
"We cannot let the enormous progress that we have made toward a tobacco-free generation be undermined by products that impact our health and economy in this way," Sylvia M. Burwell of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday.
Officials with the Tobacco Prevention and Control Coalition in Wichita County said the announcement is a step in the right direction.
"It makes us feel like somebody is getting behind our back and actually helping us move forward with our community," Keivin Swanson, Public Health Specialist with TPCC said.
Not everyone agrees with the new development.
"The government should stay out of everybody's life, period," Clint Finley of Wichita Falls said.
The rule broadens the definition of tobacco products to include e-cigarettes, hookahs, pipe tobacco, premium cigars, little cigars and other products. But this does not go into effect immediately.
Beginning in August the sale of e-cigarettes to minors will be banned. They will also require new health warnings, and any products that hit the market after February 2007 will have to submit to a federal review.
"It will help the adults make more informed decisions about the products that they're buying," Swanson said.
Other residents said the announcement should have been made years ago.
"It's long overdue. They should have done it a long time ago," Kaye Rickson of Wichita Falls said.
Newschannel 6 reached out to local vaping shops for comment about the announcement. Officials declined to talk to us.
Federal officials said Thursday the rule will also allow the FDA to evaluate the potential impact on public health.
Samantha Forester, Newschannel 6