When the FDA said it would regulate e-cigarettes, the reaction was swift. – Washington Post

Twitter never sleeps. So when the news broke in the dead of night that the Food and Drug Administration wants to regulate e-cigarettes, the response was swift.

#Ecigs vendors: If you want to keep your business–and earn mine over the next 2 years–FIGHT NOW. (via @GregTHR) http://t.co/28OIYr6yGi

— Silver Zero (@SilverZero74) April 24, 2014

It is medically unethical to punish a FAR less harmful alternative to smoking. It is DEADLY. Poor #FDA #ecig regulations will kill people!!

— TomiGirl36 (@TomiGirl36) April 24, 2014

#ecigs give BigTobacco the semblance of caring about you RT @BATPress: Ecigs have the potential to play a significant role in harm reduction

— Ryan Lindsay (@ry4nlindsay) April 24, 2014

Selling death makes money and individuals sell their souls. #ecigarettes — Aaron M Fisher (@aaronmfisher) April 24, 2014

E-cigarettes are battery operated devices that contain nicotine, but not tobacco, and produce vapor instead of smoke. Some claim they are safer than regular cigarettes; others say they are dangerous for different reasons and a gateway to smoking the real thing. For the first time since e-cigarettes appeared in the U.S. in 2006, the FDA said Thursday that it will impose restrictions. The Post’s Brady Dennis has details:

The move would begin to place restrictions on e-cigarettes, a nearly $2 billion industry that for years has operated outside the reach of federal regulators. If adopted, the government’s plan would force manufacturers to curb sales to minors, stop handing out free samples, place health warning labels on their products and disclose the ingredients. Makers of e-cigarettes also would be banned from making health-related claims without scientific evidence. … Regulators at this point are not seeking to halt online sales of e-cigarettes, curb television advertising, or ban the use of flavorings such as watermelon, grape soda and piña colada — all tactics that critics say are aimed at attracting young smokers and that have been banned for traditional cigarettes.

The new rules will also regulate cigars, pipe tobacco and hookahs. But it’s e-cigarettes that are getting all the attention. You can tell from headlines how controversial this is going to be. This New York Times headline from Wednesday –  Selling a Poison by the Barrel: Liquid Nicotine for E-Cigarettes – prompted this one from the tech Web site Digital Trends –  The NY Times is blowing smoke: Toothpaste poisons more people than vaping liquid. Earlier this week, a patient on oxygen at a Syracuse hospital caught on fire while puffing on an e-cigarette. Earlier this month, a study from the Centers for Disease Control showed a dramatic increase in calls to poison centers related to exposure to nicotine-laced liquid in e-cigarettes. Both sides are armed with statistics and studies but solid data on the subject is scarce and sometimes conflicting:

@JAMA_current reports E-cig use does not discourage, and may encourage, conventional cigarette use in adolescents. http://t.co/2WQOykM17C — Dr. Chris Simpson (@Dr_ChrisSimpson) March 7, 2014

Survey Shows That Users Of E-cigarettes Are Smokers Trying To Quit – Are Succeeding! http://t.co/2ulNeIvD1T via @Spinfuel_News ecigs #ecigs — Cashbacco (@CashBacco) April 24, 2014

To news organizations jumping on the e-liquid “poisonings” hype, here’s some perspective. Any questions? #ecigs#vapepic.twitter.com/pcuHqONiQM — MN Vapers (@MNVAPERS) April 3, 2014

And there’s plenty of snark to go around:

Good news, teens! When FDA bans sale of #ecigs to ya, u can always bum a dangerous real cigarettes from a friend! http://t.co/YHE4Q9DQ1l — Brad Friedman (@TheBradBlog) April 24, 2014

MT @TabithaBrowne: #Ecigs Poisoning Skyrockets mainly in Kids http://t.co/qj4De1SFSL No deaths? Pity. Dead kids = great propaganda! —  TobaccoTactics (@TobaccoTacticss) April 3, 2014

#FDA to extend its regulatory authority to include #ecigarettes. It’s concerned that e-cigarettes are a gateway drug to bubble gum cigars. — Towle Tompkins (@TowleTompkins) April 24, 2014

Want more? Here are seven things you should know about e-cigarettes from the Post’s Lenny Bernstein.

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