TODAY

TODAY   |  April 24, 2014

Dr. Nancy Snyderman: E-cigarette issue ‘is a big fight’

NBC News’ chief medical editor discusses what new FDA regulations could mean for e-cigarette consumers.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> nbc's chief medical editor. good morning you to.

>> matt.

>> just proposals. they're not implementing them now but clearly they want e-cigarettes in the same category or class as tobacco products. do you think it is the right course of action?

>> it's ironic the fda protects this overseas, something where we know used as directed cigarettes clearly kill us. the problem is the e-cigarette is really is the wild west as was said. over 250 manufacturers. when you buy one, you can't know if it has a -- the real question is the vapor. there are chemicals that help make the vapor. the safety issue of those ingredients --

>> are you looking at e-cigarettes as something that can help you kick the habit of a real cigarette addiction or are you looking at them as more of a gateway product that might actually introduce young people to tobacco products?

>> i have heard from so many people since we did this last segment saying, look. if it hadn't been.

>> so have i.

>> we've been inundated. a lot of people said i got off cigarettes since i had this. how is it different from the gum, my patch, everything else? those products are regulated. i think there is a valid question about getting off cigarettes with the carcinogens. nicotine is addicting. you can argue so is caffeine. it's the carcinogens in tobacco that kill you, and that's why cigarettes are such a problem.

>> real quickly, by their own admission the fda says we don't know a lot about this product.

>> they've never studied it.

>> are you surprised at cities and states already banning them from their smoke free zones?

>> i think they are banning them because of the vapor issues because they think it is an irritant to people around them. long-term question is, have you seen an adult smoking a strawberry cigarette? i think not. when the e-cigarette manufacturers say we're not going after kids, seriously? then ban the flavors. i think the fda did make a big mistake if they are really serious about this not going after the internet war lot of kids are getting them. but this is a -- the battle lines are drawn, let me tell you.