The Wall Street Journal (9/25, Esterl, Subscription Publication, 5.91M) is among numerous media outlets that report on a joint call by Attorneys General in 40 US states for the FDA to heavily regulate access by young people to e-cigarettes and to meet an Oct. 31 deadline for proposing the regulations. The group expressed concern about an array of issues, from e-cigarette advertising on TV with cartoon-like characters to the sweet flavors used in some e-cigarettes. The group, which includes large states such as California and New York, wrote to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.
The Los Angeles Times (9/24, Li, 3.07M) reports that Ohio AG Mike DeWine asked the FDA to regulate e-cigarettes like other tobacco products. “Unlike traditional tobacco products, there are no federal age restrictions that would prevent children from obtaining e-cigarettes, nor are there any advertising restrictions,” he said in a statement.
The AP (9/25, Pratt) reports that the letter, co-sponsored by DeWine and Massachusetts AG Martha Coakley, “said 1.8 million middle and high school students said they had tried e-cigarettes in 2012,” which mirrors increases in adult usage of the products. “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.
The Boston Globe (9/24, Lazar, 1.75M) “White Coat Notes” blog reports that “many health advocates worry that with big tobacco’s deep pockets, the marketing will become more aggressive, and even more youth-oriented, creating a young generation of e-cigarette smokers hooked on nicotine before researchers fully understand what risks the product may pose.”
Reuters (9/25, Clarke) notes that the letter comes less than a week after 15 public health organizations sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to pressure the FDA into issuing the rules.