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E-Cigarettes: A Closer Look
By Erika Edwards
(NBC News) The Food and Drug Administration has taken its first steps toward regulating e-cigarettes.
It's a booming business that's quickly grown into a $2-billion a year industry without much oversight.
"Some have characterized it frankly as the wild, wild west," says FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg.
The FDA proposal would require manufacturers to disclose the ingredients of their products, which contain at the very least nicotine and water, along with any number of other unknown chemicals.
An e-cigarette industry spokesman welcomes quality control regulation of liquid nicotine ingredients, saying it would make a better, safer product.
"You find companies now basically mixing this product in the back rooms of their shop and they don't have the proper settings to do so," says Ray Story of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association.
The regulations would prohibit sales to kids under age 18, but do not halt online sales, television advertising or flavors some say are attractive to children.