Niagara Gazette

Community News Network

April 14, 2014

E-Cigarettes target youth with festivals, lawmakers say

WASHINGTON — E-cigarette makers aim to hook youth on their products using music festivals, free samples and candy-flavored versions, U.S. Democratic lawmakers said.

The findings, in a survey released Monday by members of Congress, should prod U.S. regulators to curb the industry, the lawmakers said. While e-cigarettes currently are unregulated, the Food and Drug Administration is working on a plan that would extend its tobacco oversight to the products.

Six of nine companies surveyed had sponsored or provided free samples at 348 events in the last two years, including the Bonnaroo and Coachella music festivals and Grand Prix races. Six companies including Green Smoke, acquired April 1 by Altria Group and Lorillard, also offer flavors such as cherry crush and vanilla dreams.

"These are the same tactics that were used by major cigarette manufacturers before they were banned," said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., on a conference call. "Our findings demonstrate the FDA regulation of e-cigarettes is necessary to prevent manufacturers from targeting youth with aggressive marketing practices."

E-cigarettes are battery-powered tubes that simulate the effect of smoking by producing nicotine vapor. E-cigarette smokers are sometimes referred to as vapers. The FDA found there isn't enough information on the products to determine if they're less harmful than traditional cigarettes, according to a study published today in the journal Tobacco Control.

In October, the agency submitted a proposal to oversee the industry to the White House's Office of Management and Budget that authorizes all regulations. The proposal is still under review at OMB, according to the office's website.

"This report we're issuing today should be a prod for them to act," Waxman said.

The use of e-cigarettes by middle school and high school students in the U.S. doubled to 10 percent in 2012 from 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in September. The agency has also said e-cigarette-related calls to poison centers rose to 215 a month in February, compared with one a month in September 2010.

Waxman and Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., led the investigation. Durbin called e-cigarettes a gateway to smoking rather than a cessation tool as some studies have asserted.

The congressional report calls on the FDA to assert its authority over e-cigarettes and companies to immediately prevent the sale of the products to anyone younger than 18 and refrain from television and radio advertising. The FDA should ban flavored e-cigarettes that appeal to youth and companies should stop selling them as well, the report said.

Altria has expressed support for FDA regulation, David Sutton, a spokesman for the Richmond, Va.-based company, said by telephone.

"Obviously, we think that the agency should include an appropriate set of marketing regulations," Sutton said. "Those regulations should allow the companies to communicate to adult vapers."

Sutton declined to specify the type of marketing regulation the FDA should impose.

NJOY "has long supported sensible regulations," Whit Clay, a spokesman for the company at Sloane & Co., said in an email.

Reynolds American backs "strengthening and updating state youth tobacco control laws to prohibit youth purchase" of tobacco products, Jane Seccombe, a spokeswoman for the Winston Salem, N.C.-based company said.

Bloomberg Industries estimates global e-cigarette sales may reach $7.5 billion in 2015, compared with $3.5 billion last year. The sales projection almost cuts in half an October estimate of $14 billion in 2015 sales based in part on expected advertising restrictions.

Six e-cigarette companies spent $59 million in 2013 to market their products, double the amount spent the year before. Seven of the manufacturers including NJOY and Reynolds have used radio or television advertisements, some featuring celebrities such as Jenny McCarthy. Seven companies also used social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to market their products.

Twenty-eight states have prohibited the sale of e- cigarettes to minors while most companies had some type of restriction on youth sales.

"Given the varied scope and company oversight of these policies, their effectiveness at restricting sales to minors is unclear," according to the congressional report.



 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
  • Church's denied request for National Guard visit draws national attention

    A Missouri church finds itself in the middle of a media storm after the Missouri National Guard, citing short notice and time constraints, was not able to fulfill a request last week to appear at the church’s vacation Bible school.

    August 1, 2014

  • 20140727-AMX-GUNS271.jpg Beretta, other gun makers heading to friendlier states

    In moving south and taking 160 jobs with it, Beretta joins several other prominent gunmakers abandoning liberal states that passed tough gun laws after the Newtown shooting.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page