American Medical Association (AMA) has adopted new policy that recommends electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) be classified as drug delivery devices under FDA regulations, which is similar to all other drug delivery devices. The policy prohibits the sale of unapproved e-cigarettes.

Smokeless e-cigarettes with nicotine consist of three parts, which include the nicotine cartridge, the vaporizer and a lithium ion battery that powers the cartridge and releases the nicotine by heating, unlike conventional cigarettes.

Despite little independent research conducted into the e-cigarettes ingredients and health impacts, vendors have been promoting them as a safe alternative to cigarettes. They are available in fruit and candy flavors.

Edward Langston, board member of AMA, said: “Very little data exists on the safety of e-cigarettes, and the FDA has warned that they are potentially addicting and contain harmful toxins. Our new policies can help ensure that e-cigarettes are properly classified and regulated.

“Because e-cigarettes have not been thoroughly tested, one cannot conclude that they are less harmful or less dangerous than conventional cigarettes. The fact that they come in fruit and candy flavors gives them the potential to entice new nicotine users, especially teens.”