Feds want to regulate cigars, hookah, pipe tobacco, more

WASHINGTON -- The federal government wants to extend its oversight of tobacco to include cigars, hookah, nicotine gels, pipe tobacco and dissolvable tobacco products.

The Food and Drug Administration proposal being issued Thursday would ban sales to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels.

Companies also would be required to register their products with the agency and disclose ingredients, among other things.

Once finalized, the agency could propose additional restrictions on the products, such as flavor bans or marketing restrictions.

Officials also are seeking public comment on whether the agency should treat premium, handmade cigars differently than machine-made cigars.

A 2009 law gave the FDA authority to regulate tobacco, but so far the agency has only focused on cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products outlined in that law.

At the same time, the FDA proposed its first regulations of the booming electronic cigarette industry, including a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.

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