More than a dozen state attorney generals (AGs) have set up campaigns against the advertising and sale of e-cigarettes to youth under the age of 18.
New York, Indiana, Ohio, and California are among the AGs involved in the campaign that is using new local and state laws to place pressure on e-cigarette distributors and tobacco companies.
State actions have intensified after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data in April of this year indicating that e-cigarette use had tripled between 2013 and 2014 amongst middle- and highschool students. A study published in the journal Pediatrics last year indicated youth exposure to television e-cigarette ads increased by 256% between 2011 and 2013. Young adult exposure to these ads also spiked by 321%.
“The key is to avoid another generation being addicted to nicotine,” explained Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller.
Most e-cigarette devices contain a cartridge with a liquid solution that often has nicotine. The nicotine concentrations within the cartridge solutions range from no nicotine to high concentrations of nicotine, approximately 24 to 36 milligrams per milliliter.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently only regulate the marketing of e-cigarettes if it is advertised as a smoking cessation aid. The fruit-flavored e-cigarettes and online sales are considered attractive selling points for youth.
Using e-cigarettes, or “vaping,” is still considered legal for youth in states that haven’t passed laws that ban the device for minors. Currently, e-cigarette sale to minors is banned by 46 states. According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 12 of those states also passed laws that require childproof packages for e-cigarettes or e-liquids.
The 1998 Master Settlement and federal regulations do not allow conventional cigarette companies to target youth, including advertisements on billboards, mass transit, and TV. That rule does not apply for e-cigarettes.
Later this summer, the FDA is expected to finalize new e-cigarette regulations; however, the federal rules may take years before they go into effect.
Sources for Today’s Article:
Mincer, J., “Exclusive: With feds slow to act, sates target e-cigarette sales to minors,” Reuters web site, July 10, 2015; http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/10/us-usa-ecigarettes-minors-idUSKCN0PK0C120150710.
Duke, J.C., et al., “Exposure to Electronic Cigarette Television Advertisements Among Youth and Young Adults,” Pediatrics June 2, 2014, doi: 10.1542/peds.2014-0269.
McIntosh, J., “Should we be worried about e-cigarettes?” Medical News Today web site, July 9, 2015; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/296572.php.
“E-cigarette use triples among middle and high school students in just one year,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site, April 15, 2015; http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2015/p0416-e-cigarette-use.html.