The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

State & National News

April 15, 2014

E-Cigarettes target youth with festivals, lawmakers say

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 — 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
State & National News
  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brother sues W.Va. senator over business loan

    FAIRMONT, W. Va. - U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin's brother claims he's owed $1.7 million that he loaned to keep a family carpet out of bankruptcy in the 1980s.

    July 28, 2014

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • WORLD NEWS: Fast food comes to standstill in China

    BEIJING - The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • Facebook continues moneymaking trend

    WASHINGTON - Facebook seems to have figured out - for now at least - the holy grail for all media right now: how to make money selling mobile ads.

    July 25, 2014

  • Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year

    NEW YORK - Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.

    July 25, 2014

  • N.C. Energy Policy Council Long Range Energy Generation and Renewable Energy Committee to meet

    RALEIGH – The North Carolina Energy Policy Council’s Long Range Energy Generation and Renewable Energy Committee will meet via conference call at 9 a.m. July 31.

    July 24, 2014

  • N.C. State University Turfgrass Field Day set for Aug. 13

    N.C. State University’s annual Turfgrass Field Day will be held in Raleigh at the Lake Wheeler Turfgrass Research Lab, Aug. 13, 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. One of the largest events of its kind in the country, the field day offers the industry and general public a chance to view the Turfgrass Program’s ongoing research trials and speak directly with N.C. State faculty and staff.

    July 24, 2014

  • NCSU Study: Urban Heat Boosts Some Pest Populations 200-Fold, Killing Red Maples

                New research from North Carolina State University shows that urban “heat islands” are slowly killing red maples in the southeastern United States. One factor is that researchers have found warmer temperatures increase the number of young produced by the gloomy scale insect – a significant tree pest – by 300 percent, which in turn leads to 200 times more adult gloomy scales on urban trees.

    July 23, 2014

  • 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

House Ads
Seasonal Content