Governor Nixon Does the Right Thing by Vetoing Legislation to Exempt E-Cigarettes from Health Regulations

Statement of Pete Fisher, Vice President, State Issues, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Jul. 14 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids applauds Gov. Jay Nixon for protecting the health of Missouri residents by vetoing legislation to exempt electronic cigarettes from important public health regulations. While masquerading as an effort to prevent e-cigarette sales to kids, the vetoed bill would have exempted e-cigarettes from other public health regulations intended to reduce tobacco use.

We strongly support prohibiting e-cigarette sales to minors. But the right way to do so is to extend current tobacco product definitions and regulations to include e-cigarettes, not to exempt e-cigarettes from these public health protections as the vetoed legislation would have done. Missouri should join other states that have included e-cigarettes in their definition of tobacco products.

E-cigarette manufacturers successfully argued in federal court that they should be regulated as tobacco products, which the Food and Drug Administration is currently seeking to do. It makes sense for Missouri and other states to regulate them as tobacco products as well.

There is an urgent need for the FDA and the states to regulate e-cigarettes to protect public health and prevent kids from using them. E-cigarettes are being marketed using many of the same themes and tactics long used to market regular cigarettes to kids, including the use of celebrities and even cartoons to pitch these products, sponsorships of auto races and music festivals with large youth audiences, and slick magazine ads that portray e-cigarette use as glamorous, sexy and rebellious. These ads could re-glamorize smoking and undermine decades of efforts to reduce youth smoking. It’s no surprise that youth e-cigarette use more than doubled from 2011 to 2012, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported.

To protect public health, the FDA must quickly finalize its proposed rule to begin regulating e-cigarettes as tobacco products, and the states, including Missouri, must apply their laws governing cigarettes and other tobacco products to e-cigarettes.

 

Media Contacts