Attorney General Asks FDA For Tighter Rules On E-Cigarettes

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller signed a letter to the FDA requesting it establish regulations on the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes to minors.

e-cigarette

Photo: Ramsey Mohsen (flickr)

The Food and Drug Administration is considering putting new restrictions in place for the sale of e-cigarettes.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, along with 39 other attorneys general, signed a letter to the Food and Drug Administration yesterday asking that it place stricter regulations on the advertising and sale of electronic cigarettes.

The initiative aims to deter teen use of e-cigarettes and comes only a few weeks after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study saying one in ten high school students tried an e-cigarette in the last year. That number doubled from 2011 statistics.

E-cigarettes are not regulated the same way traditional tobacco is, with no age requirement to purchase them and no restrictions on advertising.

It’s the advertising of e-cigarettes that concerns Terry Tolliver, the Deputy Director for Consumer Protection at the attorney general’s office.

“Some e-cigarette companies are using cartoon characters to sell their products,” Tolliver said. “Some of the flavors that are banned in tobacco are now being used to sell e-cigarettes and some of them are especially appealing to children. There are flavors such as cherry, chocolate, gummy bear and bubble gum.”

E-cigarette company Altria said in a statement after the CDC report was released that it does not encourage children using e-cigarettes or any other tobacco product.

The group of attorneys general urged the FDA to meet an October 31 deadline to put these restrictions in place.

Claire McInerny

Claire McInerny is a reporter/producer for WFIU/WTIU news. She comes to WFIU/WTIU from KCUR in Kansas City. She graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Kansas where she discovered her passion for public media and the stories it tells. You can follow her on Twitter @ClaireMcInerny.

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