Wyoming, 39 other states urge tight regulation of e-cigarettes

40 AGs urge tight regulation of e-cigarettes
2013-09-24T20:30:00Z 2013-09-25T13:16:47Z Wyoming, 39 other states urge tight regulation of e-cigarettesThe Associated Press The Associated Press
September 24, 2013 8:30 pm  • 

Wyoming Attorney General Peter Michael was one of 40 state attorneys general who sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday urging the agency to meet its own deadline and regulate electronic cigarettes the same way it regulates tobacco products.

“The reason we signed on is it’s consistent with Wyoming law on the sale of these to minors,” Michael said Tuesday. “That’s the effort: To keep these from being targeted to minors. We join the concern with the other states, especially when Wyoming has a targeted effort to reduce teen smoking.”

The letter, lead by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, says e-cigarettes are being marketed to children through cartoon-like advertising characters and by offering fruit and candy flavors, much like cigarettes were once marketed to hook new smokers.

At the same time, e-cigarettes are becoming more affordable and more widely available as the use of regular cigarettes declines as they become more expensive and less socially acceptable.

“Unlike traditional tobacco products, there are no federal age restrictions that would prevent children from obtaining e-cigarettes, nor are there any advertising restrictions,” DeWine wrote.

Electronic cigarettes are metal or plastic battery-powered devices resembling traditional cigarettes that heat a liquid nicotine solution, creating vapor that users inhale. Users get nicotine without the chemicals, tar or odor of regular cigarettes.

E-cigarettes are being advertised during prime-time television hours at a time when many children are watching, which has led a surge in sales and use, according to the letter.

The health effects of e-cigarettes have not been adequately studied and the ingredients are not regulated, the letter said.

“People, especially kids, are being led to believe that e-cigarettes are a safe alternative, but they are highly addictive and can deliver strong doses of nicotine,” Coakley said.

Citing a National Youth Tobacco Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the attorneys generals said 1.8 million middle and high school students said they had tried e-cigarettes in 2012, mirroring increases in the use of the product by adults.

The letter urges the FDA to meet an Oct. 31 deadline to issue proposed regulations that will address the advertising, ingredients and sale to minors of e-cigarettes. The decision has been delayed in the past.

Tom Kiklas, co-founder and chief financial officer of the industry group, the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, agrees that e-cigarettes should be regulated as tobacco products. The group represents dozens of companies involved in the manufacture and sales of e-cigarettes.

“We’re in agreement with responsible restrictions on the marketing and sales of these products,” including a ban on marketing aimed at children, he said. “What I cringe at is when e-cigarettes get demonized.”

Casper Star-Tribune staff writer Laura Hancock contributed to this story.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(3) Comments

  1. bryanjones307
    Report Abuse
    bryanjones307 - October 08, 2013 1:49 pm
    well my son was smoking cigarettes and i smoked for 20 years i didnt want him to go thru that i grounded him and punished him for smoking i quit smoking and i continued smelling it on him i bought him a vapor and he has not smoked a cigarette since in jan. and went to a vapor and haven't touched a cigarette since and he went to a vapor and has not touched one since may i don't cough no more i can smell now and i feel great my nicotine level is at a 6 was up to 24 i save a ton of money and don't smell bad and i don't contaminate no one around me its honestly a choice either to regulate vapors or not the tobacco company's and government agency's always like control . if they regulate it in the states i can order any vapor or flavor from my computer for half the price. i believe the future of what smoking was and how bad it is for you is turning over a new leaf. the amount of nicotine in my vapor is no different than the caffeine in your tea or coffee.. ps (Philip Morris will have to deal with the downward sales of tobacco and look for a different avenue to prosper
  2. WyoDem
    Report Abuse
    WyoDem - September 28, 2013 9:41 am
    “People, especially kids, are being led to believe that e-cigarettes are a safe alternative, but they are highly addictive and can deliver strong doses of nicotine,” Coakley said.

    Do you want 12 year olds to use these things? Get them hooked before puberty? There is something wrong with your head!
  3. thehousemouse
    Report Abuse
    thehousemouse - September 25, 2013 4:54 am
    why? because of kids? i have not seen a single young kid with a e-cigarette. not standing out side of schools, or at movie shows or even up the street from my home. why must the government get involved in every aspect of someones lives even if there is no harm to come from these smoking devices. or at least thats the way its looks. sounds to me like all you guys want is a way to bust kids for smoking them and get your fingers in the pie of money.
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