The Food and Drug Administration is proposing new rules that would strictly regulate e-cigarettes.
The rules would also cover pipe tobacco and cigars, nicotine gels and water-pipe or hookah tobacco, which are currently unregulated. The FDA also wants to limit vending machine sales of e-cigarettes.
"The tobacco product marketplace is evolving at a dizzying pace with many unanswered questions about the health effects of novel products," the agency said.
The regulations would ban the sale of e-cigarettes, cigars and pipe tobacco to children under 18, and require that anyone buying them show photo identification, The New York Times reports.
Under current rules, the FDA regulates cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco.
No timetable has been given for the proposed changes to the law.
“If it takes more than a year to finalize this rule, the FDA isn’t doing its job,” Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, told the New York Times.
The paper reports on industry trade groups that have been lobbying against the regulations over the past several months.
In the absence of federal rules, a patchwork of e-cigarette regulations has sprung up in state and local governments as they try to address some of the questions surrounding the products.
Minnesota officials and the governor have been debating regulating e-cigarette products in the state.