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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Parents and teenagers listen up… as of today, no one under the age of 18 can buy hookah tobacco, cigars or e-cigarettes, either online or in person. A new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ban started today.

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Attorney Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, says it’s been a long time coming. “Up until that point there was no federal enforcement of that requirement. We announced in May that we had completed the rulemaking that gave us the authority do this and with several months notice we’re going to start to enforce that requirement for the first time.”

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that create an aerosol that turns nicotine into an inhalable liquid vapor. Manufacturers have marketed the products as a way to help smokers quit cigarettes. But, opponents said the nicotine-laden e-cigarettes actually encourage people — especially vulnerable teens — to take up smoking.

The new FDA regulations also require that customers show a photo ID to buy e-cigarettes, and it bans retailers from handing out free samples or selling items in vending machines that can be accessed by all-ages.

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Zeller explained that enforcement of the ban will be done locally, primarily by monitoring retailers. “It’s national but it’s done through contracts that we have with 56 states and territories. So the FDA provides the funding and we do all the training and the commissioning and the way it works is… these are unannounced inspections.”

All of the major restrictions and changes will impact minors, manufacturers and retailers. Zeller said adults probably won’t notice anything. “What’s gonna change is for the first time the Food and Drug Administration will be enforcing the prohibition against the sale of these products to kids.”

E-cigarette trade associations condemned the new regulations.

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