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Members of Congress: E-cigarette Marketing Mirrors Cigarette Marketing that Hooks Kids

November 04, 2013

Several leading members of Congress are warning of “e-cigarette flashbacks” – advertising and promotions for electronic cigarettes that mirror those long used by cigarette makers to target kids.

The Food and Drug Administration must act quickly to regulate e-cigarettes and protect kids, Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA), Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) wrote in a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg. These lawmakers hold leadership positions on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, serving as Ranking Member (Waxman), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member (DeGette) and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member (Pallone).

“FDA’s delay in regulating e-cigarettes is creating a loophole that manufacturers are exploiting to target young users. The e-cigarette manufacturers are using many of the exact same advertising and promotion techniques used for decades by cigarette manufacturers to hook teenagers on their products,” the lawmakers wrote.

They also released a side-by-side online presentation “that shows how the television advertisements, magazine advertisements, sport and event sponsorships, and cartoon characters once used by the cigarette companies to attract young smokers are now being used by the e-cigarette companies.”

“The companies’ practices show that they are not capable of self-regulation. FDA must act now to protect children from their unscrupulous marketing campaigns,” the lawmakers conclude.