The Land :: www.TheLandOnline.com

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
Community News Network
  • 072214 Diamond Llama 1.jpg Llama on the loose corralled in Missouri town

    A llama on the lam cruised Main Street Tuesday before it mistook a resident’s fenced backyard for a place to grab a meal and freshen up.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • An oncologist uses scorpion venom to locate cancer cells

    Olson, a pediatric oncologist and research scientist in Seattle, has developed a compound he calls Tumor Paint. When injected into a cancer patient, it seems to light up all the malignant cells so surgeons can easily locate and excise them.

    July 22, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 2.00.42 PM.png VIDEO: Train collides with semi truck carrying lighter fluid

    A truck driver from Washington is fortunate to be alive after driving his semi onto a set of tracks near Somerset, Ky., and being struck by a locomotive, which ignited his load of charcoal lighter fluid.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • mama.jpg What we get wrong about millennials living at home

    If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 21, 2014

  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 21, 2014

  • Starved Pennsylvania 7-year-old weighed only 25 pounds

    A 7-year-old Pennsylvania boy authorities described as being so underweight he looked like a human skeleton has been released from the hospital.

    July 21, 2014

  • Malaysians wonder 'Why us?' after second loss of airline jet

    It was all too familiar. Grieving families rushing to airport. The flashing television graphics of a plane's last radar appearance. The uncomfortable officials before a heavy thicket of microphones.
    For many Malaysians, the disappearance of Flight 370 in March has been a long trauma from which the nation has not yet recovered.

    July 18, 2014

  • A quarter of the world's most educated people live in the 100 largest cities

    College graduates are increasingly sorting themselves into high-cost, high-amenity cities such as Washington, New York, Boston and San Francisco, a phenomenon that threatens to segregate us across the country by education.

    July 18, 2014

  • Facebook tests button to let people shop from its website

    Members on desktop computers or mobile devices can click a "buy" button to make purchases through advertisements or other posts on the world's largest social network, the Menlo Park, California-based company said Thursday in a blog post.

    July 17, 2014

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
The Land's Twitter Feed