RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Food and Drug Administration plans to regulate smokeless electronic cigarettes as tobacco products and won't try to regulate them under stricter rules for drug-delivery devices.
The federal agency says it intends to propose rule changes to treat e-cigarettes the same traditional cigarettes.
E-cigarettes are plastic and metal devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution and produce vapor instead of smoke.
Users and distributors say e-cigarettes address both nicotine addiction and the behavioral aspects of smoking without the chemicals found in cigarettes.
A federal appeals court last year ruled that e-cigarettes should be regulated as tobacco because they heat nicotine extracted from tobacco.
The agency e-cigarettes should be regulated as drug-delivery devices like nicotine gum or patches.
It had until Monday to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.