The FDA is setting a new minimum sales age of 18 for e-cigarettes and other tobacco products including vape pens, cigars and pipe tobacco.
A new crackdown on e-cigarettes and other cigarette alternatives.
U.S. regulators banning sales to anyone under age 18, hoping to stop a new generation from getting hooked on nicotine. The move by the Food and Drug Administration brings regulation of e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco and hookah tobacco in line with existing rules for cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco.
E-cigarettes are a $3 billion dollar industry, so there is a lot at stake.
Peter Denholtz, CEO of the Henley Vaporium in New York City says, "Many teens vape zero nicotine. Most of them do. That is what we found in our experience. So the migration to teens vaping in my mind is not alarming. It's wonderful that they are not smoking and they are another solid example of why vaping is so important to get people off of smoking."
According to federal data, three million U.S. middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes last year, up half a million from the year before. They are the most commonly used tobacco products for youngsters. For investors, the ban is yet another strike against the tobacco business.
Steve Dudash, President of IHT Wealth Management says "That whole sector. I don't know how you can look a client in the eye and put them in that sector." Wall Street analysts say that will put pressure on smaller companies that make e-cigarette devices, and force a wave of consolidation led by big tobacco companies.
The new rules take effect in 90 days.
Atop all that, California is raising the legal age for buying tobacco to 21.