Tag Archives: FDA

FDA: End of the line for so-called “natural” and “additive-free” tobacco products

American Spirit
Not any more “Natural” than any other brand.

Awesome story. The Food and Drug Administration told RJ Reynolds and other cigarette companies to stop it with their false advertising about “natural tobacco” cigarette products — this includes the infamous “American Spirit” brand of cigarettes.

American Spirit claims to be a “natural, additive-free” cigarette brand. A lot of people believe these are Native-made cigarettes, but in fact, American Spirit is a wholly owned subsidiary of RJ Reynolds, makers of Camel cigarettes and plenty of other nasty-ass brands. It’s all a big show that has fooled many people.

From an NBC article:

“The FDA has determined that these products, described as ‘natural’ and ‘additive-free’ on their labeling, need an FDA modified risk tobacco product order before they can be legally introduced as such into interstate commerce,” the agency said in a statement.

“The FDA’s job is to ensure tobacco products are not marketed in a way that leads consumers to believe cigarettes with descriptors like ‘additive-free’ and ‘natural’ pose fewer health risks than other cigarettes, unless the claims have been scientifically supported,” said Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products.

“This action is a milestone, and a reminder of how we use the tools of science-based regulation to protect the U.S. public from the harmful effects of tobacco use.”

This affects a couple of other brands, but American Spirit is the most high-profile. This has been yet again one of Big Tobacco’s big lies. That somehow tobacco brands with fewer additives are “natural” and (hint, hint) without actually coming right out and saying so, because coming right out and saying so would be incredibly @#$%ing illegal, they’re some safer or healthier.

Lucky Strike cigarette ad 1940s

Nope, nope, nope, nothing could be further from the truth. These brands (two others I hadn’t heard of previously are Nat Sherman and ITG) are NOT safer and do NOT contain fewer additives. Many years ago, Big Tobacco kept trying to find sneaky and dishonest ways to market their products as somehow being safer or “approved by doctors.” The industry’s lies about these ads was long ago exposed. The whole “natural” and “additive-free” lie is using the same techniques as the old “four out of five doctors approve Camels” ads from the 1940s and 1950s.

The FDA several years ago was given regulatory authority over tobacco and specifically nicotine by a bill signed by Barack Obama. That authority gives the FDA the authority to control the marketing of cigarette products. The whole “natural, additive-free” fight has been a thorn in the side of tobacco control advocates for years. And now, it appears the FDA isn’t screwing around and cracking down.

By the same token, I believe the FDA could use this same power to crack down on the marketing of e-cigs, since they are likewise a nicotine product.

As an aside, several years ago, a really angry email from me actually convinced Discovery Magazine to drop “American Spirit” ads from its magazine. A reminder that giving a damn can make a real difference sometimes.

What is taking the FDA so long to make a decision on e-cigarettes?

man late looking to his watch
Oh God, I’ve finally resorted to using lame clip art. I’ve gone to the Dark Side.

The other day, I was wondering, “what the hell is going on with the Food and Drug Administration and e-cigarettes, it’s been forever since I last heard.”

So, a quick Google and found stories stating that I’m not the only one out there wondering, “what the hell?”

Over a year ago, the FDA released its proposed regulations for e-cigarettes. The agency received so many comments about the draft regs that the comment period was extended. Over a year later, we’re still waiting for a response.

TIME.com stock photos
TIME.com stock photos

The FDA did one right thing in its draft regulations, which was to ban all e-cig sales to minors (42 states have already banned e-cig sales to minors, but this is not slowing their popularity with kids.). However, in the draft regs, the agency completely punted on regulating sugary candy flavours for e-cigs (Even though the FDA banned sugary, candy-flavoured cigarettes) and ignored regulating e-cig marketing (Again … even though the federal government has strict guidelines for tobacco advertising, like no more Joe Camels.).

Many of the comments the FDA received were outrage over the lack of regs over flavourings and marketing. I’m not sure how to read the long delay for the final regs, I’d like to think it’s taking so long because they’re making a lot of changes, but I’m not that naive to think a federal agency is actually going to listen to the public.).

Last week, 31 public health organizations urged the FDA to stop dawdling and taking action. In the past year since the FDA has been working on the final version of the regulations, teen e-cigarette use has skyrocketed (It literally has more than tripled since 2013, which is hard to believe.). These groups agree that regs regarding marketing and flavouring need to be stronger than what was in the draft rules (I feel very strongly that the feds need to crack down on the out-of-control Joe Camelesque advertising for e-cigs, and I’m starting to feel more strongly about them banning the candy flavours, too.):

From a Time.com article:

The medical groups say cigar and e-cigarette brands are using marketing tactics that they feel appeal directly to young people, like promoting candy and fruit-flavored products, and they want regulations to put an end to it.

“It’s no wonder use of e-cigarettes by youth has skyrocketed,” the letter reads. “This process has already taken far too long. We cannot afford more delays that allow tobacco companies to target our kids with a new generation of tobacco products.”


“My concern is always the first-time users,” says Shyam Biswal, a professor in the department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “It’s bad it took so long to make a dent in [conventional] tobacco users, and we are now starting something else, and we are just waiting and waiting and waiting. We don’t have the data that e-cigarettes are a gateway [to other tobacco products], so we just wait. It should not be like that.”

Noted tobacco control advocate Stanton Glantz sounds like he’s in the same boat with me about the FDA, given the agency’s track record so far with tobacco. (The FDA gained regulatory control over tobacco products in 2009.)

“Given that the White House has blocked eliminating menthol from cigarettes for years despite strong evidence—including from the FDA’s own analysis that doing so would protect public health—I am not holding my breath,” Glantz said.

I mean, I expected the FDA to begin actually regulating nicotine when it took over tobacco regulation six years ago, and other than banning candy flavours  for cigarettes and bidis, it hasn’t done all that much with nicotine. This agency moves glacially slow. It’s frustrating.

The Real Cost of Smoking extremely gross and hopefully effective anti-smoking campaign

real cost of smoking
Oh, God, he’s actually going to pull out one of his teeth.

Wow, I saw an anti-smoking commercial this week that literally just made me cringe.

It’s from a campaign called “the Real Cost of Smoking.” In this ad, a guy goes to the counter to buy a pack of menthols and the clerk looks at his money and says, “that’s not enough.”

What does the guy do? He pulled out a pair of pliers and literally yanks out one of his teeth and drops it on the counter. “Oh, man …. I did not actually just see that,” was my reaction. I’ve seen it a few times since and every time, I look away … and I don’t even smoke. I can’t imagine how cringe-worthy the ad is for smokers to watch, which I suppose is the actual point.

The commercial goes on to say that smoking menthols causes gum damage.

In this ad, a teenaged girl pulls the skin off her cheek.

There’s another “The Real Cost of Smoking” ad I saw a few weeks ago that’s almost as gross. A young woman goes to the counter in this one, the clerk likewise says, “that’s not enough,” and she peels the skin off her cheek and drops it on the counter. The point being that smoking causes skin damage.

These ads are actually from the Food and Drug Administration. These are the kind of ads I would expect from Truth.org but not the federal government. These are the first anti-smoking ads from the FDA, and they’re obviously taking a cue from Truth.org to create intense anti-smoking ads.

Anyway, here is the tooth-pulling ad. Watch it. If you dare.


FDA study: Cigars are not safer than cigarettes


APTOPIX Cuba Cigar Festival

This story actually surprised me a little bit, because prior studies had suggested that cigarettes were actually more dangerous than cigars because cigarette tobacco is a different kind of tobacco from cigar tobacco, and it is also cured differently. Allan Brandt also talked about this somewhat in his excellent book, “The Cigarette Century.”

(Part of where this idea comes from is people smoked cigars all through the 18th century, but it wasn’t until the 1930s that there was a huge uptick in lung cancer cases — roughly about 30 years after cigarettes started becoming popular in the early 1900s.)


The latest study done by the FDA contradicts this notion, showing no tangible difference in the danger from cigarette smoke and cigar smoke.


From a Medical Daily article:

“The results reinforce the fact that cigar smoking carries many of the same health risks as cigarette smoking,” lead researcher from the FDA Cindy Chang said in a statement. “Cigar smoking is linked to fatal oral, esophageal, pancreatic, laryngeal, and lung cancers, as well as heart disease and aortic aneurysm.”

Chang and her colleagues combed through 22 studies from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland that focused on cigar smoking, smoking-related mortality, and all-cause mortality. The studies focused primarily on white men from North America and Europe in the 1960s or earlier. Researchers assessed the health risks for cigar smokers and compared them to people with no history of cigarette smoking or people who have never used tobacco.

People who smoked only cigars and had never smoked any other tobacco products still stood a higher risk for all-cause mortality. Risk for death caused by oral, esophageal, and lung cancers increased significantly after a person started smoking cigars, even if they reported not inhaling cigar smoke. People who smoked cigarettes before picking up cigars were at a significantly higher risk for lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) compared to those who smoked cigars exclusively.

I found some other links that state that cigarettes do seem to be more dangerous as far as causing COPD than just cigars.

What’s worrisome about this story is that cigar use is up — wayyy up. I believe part of the reason why is people are thinking cigars are safer than cigarettes. (The increase in cigar use has correlated with a sharp decline in smoking.) Cigar use has doubled in the U.S. from 6.2 billion in 2000 to 13.7 billion in 2011.

One thing to keep in mind about cigars is that they contain considerably more tobacco than a cigarette. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one cigar contains as much tobacco as an entire pack of cigarettes. So, even if you just smoke one cigar a day, you’re consuming as much tobacco as 20 cigarettes.

E-cig legislative roundup: Possible ban on e-cig sales to minors in Montana; Michigan governor vetoes e-cig bills; Island of Hawaii bans e-cigs in public places


A bill was introduced during this session of the Montana State Legislature to ban e-cigarette sales to minors. I find this is a tad odd because the Food and Drug Administration is considering rules to ban e-cigarette sales to minors nationwide. However, I have no idea what the timeline is for those final FDA rules — it could be another year or more. The FDA draft rules released several months ago generated 135,000 comments which the FDA is still sorting through.

According to this Independent story on the bill, Montana is just one of 10 states in the country that still allows e-cigarette sales to minors. This story is pretty sympathetic to a local vaping store. The owner claims that he will sell e-cigarettes to kids under 18 only if they have a permission slip from their parent and that he never sells nicotine products to kids. (Colour me cynical …. but my bullshit alarm was going off somewhat on that one. In any case, I’ve seen plenty of kids buying e-cig products pretty easily at Montana minimarts, all this guy has to do is sell the inhaler.)

“I do know of quite a few kids that have curtailed their [tobacco] habit or quit it all together by replacing it with something that’s not nearly as harmful as the tobacco products,” said store co-owner Mark Townsend.

Well, maybe, but again, my bullshit alarm is going off. The data is pretty sketchy about whether or not e-cigs help people quit smoking. I can believe for a 20- or 30-year smoker who has tried everything else, why not use e-cigarettes to quit? But, where the store owner is wrong is studies have shown that more kids are using e-cigs now rather than cigarettes not to quit smoking, but because they are easy to get and kids have been given the idea they’re harmless. They’re going straight to e-cigs to begin with. And that’s nicotine. And that’s still turning them into nicotine junkies.

Anyway, according to Alex Clark, legislative director for the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, his group has a concern with language in the bill lumping e-cigarettes in with tobacco products. Clarks calls this “an intentional, almost politically motivated mischaracterization.” The whole issue of lumping e-cigs in with tobacco products is pretty controversial, as we will see in Michigan.

Michigan bills vetoed

Gov. Rick Snyder this week vetoed bills regulating e-cigarettes and it sounds like a good thing, because it sounded like some sneaky kind of pro-e-cigarette industry end-around. I don’t have all the details, but one of the problems with these bills is they specifically designated e-cigs as a non-tobacco product, but would exclude other non-tobacco nicotine products from this definition (like nicotine gum or other types of inhalers, I assume). The legislation would have banned e-cig sales to minors. Like I said earlier, this is happening soon on a national level anyway.

Snyder vetoed the bills, saying the bills did not go far enough and would have just created confusion about e-cig regulation when the FDA is addressing this on a federal level. It’s telling to me that health organizations praised the vetoes, while the loudest critic was a Republican legislator, which makes me suspicious about what his real motives are.

“We need to make sure that e-cigarettes and other nicotine-containing devices are regulated in the best interest of public health,” Snyder said in a statement. “It’s important that these devices be treated like tobacco products and help people become aware of the dangers e-cigarettes pose.”

According to this story, the Michigan State Medical Society, which represents 15,000 doctors, praised Snyder.

“These bills would have been a giant step backwards, and Gov. Snyder was wise to veto them,” said James Grant, M.D., the group’s president.

Hawaii bans e-cigs in public places

The Island of Hawaii (not the whole state, just the Big Island), recently passed an ordinance banning e-cigs in public places islandwide. Essentially, e-cigs will be treated the same as cigarettes. Not only can you not use an e-cig in a bar or a restaurant, but they are banned at beaches and parks. (Maybe a bit much since e-cigs don’t have the littering issue that cigarettes have.)

More and more cities are banning e-cigs in public places as people simply don’t trust that the steam from e-cigs is completely benign. I don’t think there is a statewide public ban on e-cigs yet, but I like that they are getting people’s attention.

CNN report on the rise of e-cigarettes among teens — “Are e-cigs really the Wild West?”


CNN did a piece Dec. 31 (Hey, the report includes that sucky Blu ad I hate with the racecar-driving Stephen Dorff).

When asked by CNN correspondent Poppy Harlow if e-cigs are “really the Wild West,” Mitchell Zeller, director of the Food and Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products, responds, “Absolutely. They are currently unregulated.” Zeller goes on to say, “it took us way too long to get the proposed rule out.”

That “proposed rule” Zeller is referring to are FDA regulations being developed to govern the sale of e-cigs. Unfortunately, as they currently stand, those regulations pretty much only do one thing — ban the sale of e-cig products to kids under 18. That’s a good start, but other than that, nothing of substance. No control over that flashy, sexy e-cigarette advertising and no controls over the sugary and fruity nicotine flavours. I know the FDA is getting pressured to crack down on e-cig marketing and candy flavours, but who knows if their final rules will change from the draft the agency released a few months ago.

Zeller was also asked if the recent boom in e-cig use by kids threatens to create a whole new generation of nicotine addicts. (Nicotine is not the most toxic substance in cigarettes, but it is shockingly physically addictive.)

Wow, I didn’t know this. There are actually cotton candy and Gummy Bear e-cigarette flavours. Harlow asks a tobacco industry lobbyist if he could defend those kinds of flavours and even a lobbyist said he can’t.

“I wouldn’t go into a member of Congress’ office and say we need to protect candy-like flavours,” said tobacco lobbyist John Scofield.

Not real new information for me, but I’m glad to see CNN jumping on this story.

Edgy, racy, sexy ad for e-cigs … Blu E-cigs will make you as cool as a racecar driver … or Joe Camel

joe camel, stephen dorff race car driver
Joe Camel and Stephen Dorff (Yup, that’s actually Stephen Dorff) were race car drivers

OK, I am literally sending an email to the FDA about this new Blu E-cigarette ad. Man, this ad annoyed me the first time I saw it about a week ago, and it’s still bugging me.

It’s with our longtime Blu spokesman — washed-up actor Stephen Dorff, advertising a new cherry-flavoured Blu e-cig. Stephen Dorff is shirtless and tattooed, vaping on an e-cig, then he’s climbing a mountain vaping on an e-cig, then he’s walking on a beach vaping on an e-cig, then he’s riding a bicycle vaping on an e-cig, all, then he’s walking on a racetrack wearing a Blu racing uniform vaping on an e-cig, then he is at a formal party vaping on an e-cig, then he is at a hip bar, vaping on an e-cig, then playing pool, while vaping on an e-cig … all to a jazzy, funky song by T-Bird and the Breaks (with the refrain of “Lift me up” as in “Blu cigarettes lift me up not only with their little charge of nicotine, but with their cool hipness, too.”)

So, e-cigs are portrayed as sexy as hell. Funky music blaring, Dorff shirtless, partying, drinking, … heck, even driving a racecar. Blu E-cigs will actually make you as cool as a racecar driver.

Wow, just wow, this is the most annoying Blu commercial I’ve seen yet, blatantly stealing from the “cool, suave” school of tobacco advertising. … heck, e-cigs will even turn you into a racecar driver. Just like Joe Camel. Yup, Joe Camel was a racecar driver, too.

Never mind the fact that activists are concerned that the candy-flavoured e-cigs are directed at kids even without the cool, hip, jazzy advertising … this is just over the top. E-cig use among teens has tripled in three years and ads like this are one of the big reasons why. This is what the FDA needs to STOP. This is a prime example of the kind of e-cig advertising they need to crack down on.


CDC: E-cig use more than doubles among teens — see, I TOLD YOU

Electronic cigarette

The Centers for Disease Control released a report last month (in a major catch-up mode right now with the Lounge going down for a couple of weeks), that the use of e-cigs  more than doubled from 2011-2012.

I reiterate … I reiterate until I make your eyes bleed reading it, I don’t have a problem with e-cigs EXCEPT for the way they are being marketed to kids. Sure enough, according to the CDC, the use of e-cigs rose from 4.7 in 2011 to more than 10 percent in 2012 among high school and middle school kids (I cringe at what the rate is today, it takes a year or two to compile this data.). 10 percent in 2012? That rate might be 25 or 30 percent by 2014.

According to the CDC press release:

“These data show a dramatic rise in usage of e-cigarettes by youth, and this is cause for great concern as we don’t yet understand the long-term effects of these novel tobacco products,” said Mitch Zeller, director of FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. “These findings reinforce why the FDA intends to expand its authority over all tobacco products and establish a comprehensive and appropriate regulatory framework to reduce disease and death from tobacco use.”

Unlike cigarettes, there are absolutely no regulations regarding the marketing of e-cigs. Big Tobacco in the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement agreed to stop marketing — at least blatantly marketing — to teens. That meant no more Joe Camel, and no more product placement of tobacco products in PG and PG-13 movies. The MSA was a badly flawed agreement, but that is genuinely one of  the really good things that came out of it — marketing of tobacco products to kids (or what Big Tobacco calls, “new smokers,”) has ostensibly stopped.

However, the FDA recently completely punted on controlling the marketing of e-cigs to kids. The FDA did ban e-cig sales to minors, but run away like a spinless banshee from the idea of controlling the advertising of e-cigs, apparently paranoid over a First Amendment lawsuit (never mind the fact that nicotine is now officially a federally controlled substance, like Vicodin or codeine, which means the FDA has the regulatory authority over how it’s promoted … it’s THEM, not ME). Me — and thousands of others, hopefully — wrote the FDA about this and told them they were screwing the pooch on this issue and hopefully when the agency releases the final version of its regs, it will show more spine over marketing of e-cigs. Then again, I’m not holding my breath.

I’m perfectly OK with e-cigs being used by people trying to quit cigarettes, especially as a last resort when all else has failed, in fact I’ve urged my brother to try e-cigs, but I am not OK with kids using e-cigs instead of cigarettes. E-cigs still contain nicotine, which is a staggering addictive substance and it doesn’t do anyone any good for kids to get physically addicted to something that has little other value than a short-term jolt of energy.




Time Magazine: The e-cig industry has won the regulatory battle


Sobering story from Time magazine: The e-cig industry has won the regulatory battle.

Sobering because of two main reasons: There will be no FDA control over sugary, fruity flavourings for e-cigs and there will be no FDA control over e-cig marketing.

A couple of months ago, the FDA issued its draft regulations for e-cigs. It was a mixed bag. Fortunately, the FDA came right out and banned e-cig sales to minors (but did not ban Internet sales of e-cigs), but completely steered away from trying to control the marketing of e-cigs.

This was a big disappointment, because it’s become pretty obvious that e-cig companies (which are increasingly becoming cigarette companies) are marketing aggressively to young people, using sexy and “come hither” imagery, just like tobacco companies have done since Kingdom Come.

Time magazine jumped on the story, saying the proposed FDA regs were a big win for the e-cig industry, especially over the marketing of e-cigs. The Time article also brings up a point I have mentioned in previous blog posts, that the agency is likely afraid of a big lawsuit over the First Amendment in trying to limit e-cig marketing.

Stanton Glantz, one of my favourite anti-tobacco advocates, is quoted extensively in the Time article.

“The deeming rule that the FDA has proposed is very, very, very limited in its scope,” says Stanton Glantz, a cardiology professor at the University of San Fransisco and one of the most vociferous proponents of strict rules for e-cigs. “It requires a useless warning label and says they can’t be sold to kids under 18, but it doesn’t put any restrictions on internet sales, which means kids under 18 can easily get them. It has no restrictions on marketing at all.” This puzzles Glantz. “You would think that the Obama administration would be supporting tobacco control because it would reduce health care costs.” As far as Glantz is concerned, the administration has erred on the side of the tobacco interests.

Naturally, one of the biggest concerns among health advocates is children’s access to e-cigarettes—and marketing of e-cigs to teens is up 321%, as TIME recently reported. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that almost 2 million students in the U.S. have tried e-cigarettes. Policies to address the issue run the gambit from the least controversial—like establishing an age restriction on purchasing e-cigs and child proof packaging—to the more divisive, like prohibiting marketing to teens, prohibiting internet sales, and restricting the use of kid-friendly candy-like flavors.

But even the most basic restrictions—like better product labeling, and child proofing—were absent from the FDA’s initial deeming rules, making other restrictions on advocates’ wish lists seem that much further away. “Any meaningful rules on marketing of e-cigarettes are years, and years, and years away,” says Glanz, pointing out that if restrictions were imposed, e-cig companies would likely sue over marketing restrictions on first amendment grounds.

A spokesman for an c-cig company had this predictably weasel word response:

Craig Weiss, the CEO of NJOY in Scottsdale, Arizona, one of the leading electronic cigarette brands, says there are appropriate curbs, but there is no reason e-cigarette marketing should be as strict as tobacco. “You are confusing the arsonist with the firefighter,” he says. “Why would you treat products that are part of the solution as products that are part of the problem?” he says. Though NJOY is careful not to make direct claims that their products can help smokers quit, Weiss is a big believer in the potential for electronic cigarettes to replace cigarettes. Weiss supports limits on the age of actors in ads and rules against e-cigs appearing in cartoons, but he rejects the idea that there is anything wrong with his ads, which do feature young adults.

Well, the problem, Craig, is that while e-cigs might be a solution for some adult smokers (the jury is out whether e-cigs are a very effective quitting tool) to quit smoking, they are not any kind of “solution” when 16-year-olds are using them instead of cigarettes.



FDA will ban e-cigarette sales to minors

These 13-year-olds legally bought their e-cigs (OK, they're from the UK, but you get the point)
These 13-year-olds legally bought their e-cigs (OK, they’re from the UK, but you get the point). No more e-cig sales to minors in the U.S.

Well, this came a lot faster than I expected. I expected the announcement next week.

As fully expected, the Food and Drug Administration today announced that it intends to ban the sales of e-cigarettes to minors. The sales ban is part of a series of e-cigarette regulations proposed by the FDA. The regulations will be finalized after a 75-day comment period, but I expect few changes.

Here is one story from NBC and here is another. Here is a CNN story.

Here’s the upshot of the new regulations.

The big one. No more e-cig sales to minors under the age of 18. This is really important. Because e-cigs have been completely unregulated, “vaping” has become more and more popular with kids, because frankly, it’s a lot less hassle for kids to get their hands on a e-cigs rather than cigarettes. According to the CDC, the percentage of kids under 18 using e-cigs double from around 5 percent in 2011 to around 10 percent in 2012. That’s alarming. I’m guessing that number is approaching 20 percent today.

While e-cigs may not be as toxic as cigarettes, they still contain nicotine, which is incredibly addictive, so c-cigs, when used by kids as a substitute for cigarettes, are addicting kids to nicotine. E-cigs might be fine for someone trying to quit smoking, but not for some 16-year-old to use instead of tobacco.

Other new regulations are no more free samples, a ban on vending machine sales in any business open to minors, a mandated disclosure of all ingredients in e-cigs and a mandated warning label that nicotine is physically addictive.

The one disappointment to me is there are no proposed restrictions on e-cigarette advertising. I think the advertising has been fairly out of control similar to what was going on with cigarettes 30 years ago. E-cigs are being made to look cool and sexy to kids, and there have even been e-cigs ads using women’s panties and Santa Claus.

Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids issued  a statement with understandably mixed sentiments, taking the FDA to task for taking so long to develop these regs (three years) and urging them to address marketing to kids in the future. However, CTFK is pleased that there is a ban for sales to kids.

However, I also acknowledge that restrictions on advertising may have run into some First Amendment issues. Perhaps the FDA didn’t want to deal with the headaches of First Amendment lawsuits. The FDA CAN enforce advertising restrictions for tobacco products because the tobacco companies agreed to those restrictions in the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement. In that agreement, Big Tobacco agreed to not use cartoon characters (like Joe Camel … or Santa Claus, etc.) to promote its products. I honestly do not know how much power they have to restrict marketing of e-cigs.

Anyway, like I said, the big one is ending the sales of e-cigs to minors. That crap had to be cracked down on. We don’t need a new generation of nicotine addicts being created, no matter what the delivery system. The other big fear I have with e-cigs being sold to kids, and I wonder how often this has happened, is kids getting the bright idea to directly use the liquid nicotine that comes in vials along with the e-cigs. Seriously, I could just see 13- and 14-year-olds trying that. That liquid nicotine in its concentrated form is highly poisonous and powerful.